Domestic Violence Down Sharply in Canada

Januray 29, 2016
By Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

NPO’s good friend and one of the best authorities on shared parenting and family conflict, Dr. Edward Kruk of the University of British Columbia reports that Canada’s statistical agency, StatsCanada has just published its data on domestic violence from the General Social Survey of 2014. And the results are excellent.

“Results from the 2014 General Social Survey (GSS) on victimization show that of the 19.2 million Canadians in the provinces who had a current or former spouse or common law partner, about 4% (760,000 individuals) reported having been physically and/or sexually abused by their partner during the preceding five years. This was significantly fewer than what was reported a decade earlier in 2004 (7%).”

“Equal proportions of men and women with current or former spouses or partners reported being victims of spousal violence (4% each). Both sexes experienced similar declines in spousal violence since 2004. “

Perhaps better still, some 41% of these incidents occur during divorce or separation meaning that they tend to be one-time or rare occurrences. Moreover, this represents a slight decline from previous surveys. Kruk suggests that the decline may reflect a trend toward shared parenting post-divorce, since shared parenting is now known to have a damping effect on inter-spousal conflict. Kruk emphasizes that the trend toward shared parenting has occurred in non-litigated cases. Sadly, when judges decide custody and parenting time, they tend to order primary custody, or sole custody with visitation. But fortunately, the great majority of cases are decided by the agreement of the divorcing spouses, and not by a judge.

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