A new report has found that–on average–a woman or girl suffered a violent death every 2.5 days in Canada in 2020.
It’s a rate that’s stayed the same over the past three years, according to the Canadian Femicide Observatory of Justice and Accountability at the University of Guelph, which reports that 160 females died violently in Canada in 2020.
An 88-page report entitled Call It Femicide published this week found that at least 128 of the 160 women were killed by men. In another 17 cases, the killer has yet to be identified.
Of the 128 women and girls killed by a man in 2020, the type of relationship they shared was known for 88 victims of which 36–or 41 per cent–involved a current or former intimate partner relationship.
The study also found at least one in five women whose killers were identified as male were Indigenous — 30 out of 128 — although race and ethnicity on every case was not available.
In 2020, the age of victims ranged from 20 years to 89 years, with an average age of 45. The largest proportion of victims was aged 25 to 34 and the smallest proportion was aged 18 to 24. Like the victims, the accused ranged in age from 21 to 94 years, with an average age of 47.
The 160 violent deaths were an increase from 2019 before when 146 women and girls were killed.
In 2018, there were 164 instances of femicide, which is the killing of women and girls because they are female.
Since 2016, CFOJA has documented the deaths of more than 761 women and girls in Canada.
While the study avoids linking instances of killings to the pandemic because specific data is not yet available, Anuradha Dugal, vice-president of community initiatives at the Canadian Women’s Foundation in Montreal, told CBC News there were increased calls to shelters in 2020.
“We do know that there was a spike in gender-based violence,” she said, calling last year year’s numbers “disheartening.
“The reality of femicide, the murdering of women because they are women, does not shift year after year in Canada,” Dugal said.
The Canadian Femicide Observatory of Justice and Accountability’s findings are in line with a study released earlier this month by Statistics Canada that showed rates of police-reported family violence against children and youth, intimate partners, and seniors all rose for their third year in a row in 2019, following a drop from 2009 to 2016.
The full “Call It Femicide” report can be read HERE.
With files from CBC News