A vast majority of domestic homicides in Canada are preceded by several well-known risk factors, according to recent research. (iStock)

Domestic homicide is predictable, preventable: report

Share

A new report found that 476 people died in Canada between 2010 and 2015 as a result of domestic violence. Most of the victims were women, but so were men and children. Of the perpetrators, 86 per cent were men and 21 per cent committed suicide with another seven percent attempting to take their own lives.

Indigenous people, immigrants at greater risk

Four groups seem to be at greater risk of domestic homicide. They include Indigenous populations, rural and remote populations, children in situations of domestic violence and immigrant and refugee populations. While women in the last group were not more likely to face violence or homicide, they did have obstacles in getting help.

“When they faced high risk situations, they were less likely to be able to reach out for help because of cultural, religious, language barriers,” says Peter Jaffe, a professor and head of a research centre on domestic violence at Western University. He and Myrna Dawson of Guelph University have studied domestic violence and homicide for years and co-authored the report.

Children made up 10 per cent of the victims of domestic homicide in this study. (iStock)

Homicide ‘not out of the blue’

The researchers noticed there is a pattern of risk factors prior to domestic homicide. “It’s not that these homicides happen out of the blue,” says Jaffe. “In fact, you would call them the most predictable and preventable of all homicides…

“We’ve certainly seen over the years that in about 80 per cent of the cases there’s been seven or more well-known risk factors prior to the homicide–factors that would be known to friends, family, co-workers, police, community agencies. And it’s important that we raise awareness about these risk factors and the importance of getting help for the victims of domestic violence and perpetrators.”


Among the risk factors are a prior history of domestic violence, the perpetrator trying to control many aspects of the victim’s life, separation where the perpetrator is losing control of the victim, stalking or harassing behaviour, threats to harm, depression, addiction, access to weapons and the victims’ intuitive sense of fear.

‘One is too many’

Jaffe says in about half the cases, victims know they are in danger and in the other half, they don’t realize it. He says that while there has been tremendous progress in awareness and the handling of domestic violence in the last few decades in Canada, more needs to be done. He suggests there needs to be more public awareness about the problem and the need for intervention, more progress is needed in the education of professionals in the justice system and there needs to be better coordination between the justice system and social services.

“Domestic homicide is a serious problem across Canada,” says Jaffe. “In our view, one is too many…It’s easy to get lost in numbers and forget that each victim represents a significant loss to friends, to family and children, to the community. So, it’s important to remember the amount of suffering in those who are left behind… the consequences to them.”

Prof. Peter Jaffe describes the findings in the new report on domestic violence and homicide in Canada.

Listen
Share
Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Health, Society

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

*