Police-reported violence against girls and young women in Canada, 2017

by Shana Conroy

Release date: December 17, 2018
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Highlights

  • In 2017, the rate of police-reported violent crime in Canada was higher for victims who were girls and young women aged 24 and younger than their male counterparts and women aged 25 and older.
  • Between 2009 and 2017, police-reported violence declined overall; however, the decrease was smaller for victims who were girls and young women than for boys and young men. More specifically, as physical assault offences and other violent offences decreased for girls and young women, sexual offences increased.
  • In 2017, overall rates for physical assault offences and other violent offences for victims who were girls and young women were similar to those for boys and young men; however, rates for sexual offences were higher for victims who were girls and young women than their male counterparts, regardless of age group.
  • The type of offence experienced by girls and young women shifted with age. For younger girls aged 11 and younger and older girls aged 12 to 17, sexual offences had the highest rate, while the rate for physical assault offences was the highest for young women aged 18 to 24.
  • Violence against girls and young women was most commonly perpetrated by a male accused. The accused-victim relationship varied: younger girls were most often victimized by a family member, older girls by a casual acquaintance and young women by a non-spousal intimate partner.
  • Regardless of the type of offence, girls and young women were most commonly victimized on private property and, of those who were, nearly two-thirds were victimized in their own home.
  • Girls and young women had a delay in reporting—meaning the violent incident they experienced was not reported to the police the same day it occurred—more often than boys and young men. Despite this, girls and young women had the incident cleared by charge more often than their male counterparts, regardless of the type of offence.
  • Homicide rates were, on average, three times lower for girls and young women than boys and young men between 2007 and 2017. Among girls and young women who were victims of homicide, those who were Aboriginal were over-represented during that time period.
  • In 2017, rates of police-reported violence against girls and young women were highest in the territories, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. In the provinces, rates were notably higher in rural areas than urban areas.
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Violence has the potential to have serious immediate and long-term consequences for victims. Affected areas of life may include physical and mental health, economic well-being and social relationships (Briere and Rickards 2007; Fergusson et al. 2008; McDougall and Vaillancourt 2015; Patel and Taylor 2012; Turner et al. 2010; Wathen 2012). This is particularly true for younger victims who are at various stages of development and, depending on the nature of the violence and the characteristics of the victim, these negative effects can extend long into adulthood (UNICEF 2014). Research has shown that certain types of violence, such as victimization by family members and sexual victimization, peak early in life (Cotter and Beaupré 2014; Ogrodnik 2010).

Many types of violence also have a gender component (Benoit et al. 2015). Violence against girls and women has been identified as a serious ongoing human rights issue and health epidemic that acts as a barrier to gender equality (United Nations 1993; World Health Organization 2013). Compared to men, women are disproportionately victims of crimes such as intimate partner violence, sexual assault and stalking (Burczycka and Conroy 2018; Conroy and Cotter 2017; Elliott et al. 2004; Perreault 2015; Sinha 2013a). Further, certain crimes—especially sexual assault—are less likely to be reported to the police due to increased levels of shame, guilt and stigma among victims (Conroy and Cotter 2017; Elliott et al. 2004; Johnson 2012; Sable et al. 2006).

Research has shown that violence against women is often unique in terms of the type of violence, the relationship of the accused to the victim, and where violence occurs (Sinha 2013b; Vaillancourt 2010). This combination of factors may make their victimization more likely to be hidden and difficult to detect. In Canada, certain women are more at-risk for violence than others, including young women, Aboriginal women,Note  women with disabilities, women with poorer mental health, women who are gay or bisexual, and women who live in more remote areas (Cotter 2018; Hotton Mahony et al. 2017; Hutchins 2013; Perreault 2015; Simpson 2018).

This Juristat article was produced by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics at Statistics Canada with the support of Status of Women Canada. It examines police-reported violence against girls and young women aged 24 and younger in Canada. Trend analysis is also presented to indicate changes over time. Rates are provided at the national, provincial and territorial levels, as well as for urban, rural and census metropolitan areas.

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Data sources and definitions

Using police-reported data from the Incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Survey and the Homicide Survey, this Juristat article presents information on violent crimeNote  under the Criminal Code (C.C. 1985) that was reported to and substantiated by the police.Note  Since not all incidents of violence come to the attention of the police,Note  some findings based on self-reported data from the 2014 General Social Survey (GSS) on Canadians' Safety (Victimization)Note  are provided for additional contextNote  on the nature, extent and impact of violent victimization.Note  The GSS on Victimization provides information on experiences of victimization, whether incidents were reported to the police or not. The GSS on Victimization surveys Canadians aged 15 and older, and it includes some retrospective questions on experiences of childhood abuse. Police-reported and self-reported data are best used as complementary, rather than mutually exclusive, sources of information on crime and victimization in Canada.Note 

While the focus of this article is victims aged 24 and younger, information on those aged 25 and older is discussed where differences exist. For the purposes of analysis, victims of police-reported violence are grouped into the following categories:

  • Younger girls and younger boys: victims aged 11 and younger
  • Older girls and older boys: victims aged 12 to 17
  • Young women and young men: victims aged 18 to 24
  • Women and men: victims aged 25 and older

For police-reported data, victim sex is based on information provided to the police or, when that information is unavailable, based on a police perception of the victim's sex. For this reason, females include those who identify or present as female—and males include those who identify or present as male—regardless of their sex at birth.Note 

Police-reported violent crime includes all offences against the person in the UCR. Since this includes approximately 70 individual violent offences, they are groupedNote  into four categories for analysis: offences related to homicide or death, sexual offences, physical assault offences and other violent offences.

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Rate of police-reported violent crime higher for victims who are girls and young women

In 2017, there were 350,457 victims of police-reported violent crime in Canada (968 per 100,000 population),Note  and approximately half (53%) were female (Table 1).Note  Among those aged 24 and younger, females represented a slightly higher proportion of victims (56%).

Overall, girls and young women aged 24 and younger experienced violence at a rate of 1,394 victims per 100,000 population, compared to a rate of 1,030 for their male counterparts. In contrast, rates of violence for women and men aged 25 and older were similar (878 versus 867). Violence against females peaked overall at age 15, with a rate of 2,684 victims per 100,000 population (Chart 1).Note 

Chart 1 Victims of police-reported violent crime, by victim age and sex, Canada, 2017

Data table for Chart 1 
Data table for chart 1
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for chart 1. The information is grouped by Victim age (appearing as row headers), Female and Male, calculated using rate per 100,000 population units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Victim age Female Male
rate per 100,000 population
0 101 124
1 151 154
2 172 147
3 239 204
4 307 238
5 350 312
6 413 325
7 423 375
8 456 413
9 498 473
10 596 562
11 768 663
12 1,244 977
13 1,878 1,235
14 2,378 1,612
15 2,684 1,749
16 2,437 1,804
17 2,438 1,823
18 2,406 1,728
19 2,375 1,697
20 2,400 1,716
21 2,285 1,668
22 2,239 1,640
23 2,215 1,594
24 2,183 1,583
25 2,157 1,687
26 2,059 1,576
27 1,997 1,566
28 1,939 1,499
29 1,879 1,472
30 1,890 1,804
31 1,671 1,432
32 1,638 1,380
33 1,602 1,354
34 1,560 1,272
35 1,530 1,422
36 1,463 1,226
37 1,423 1,163
38 1,388 1,202
39 1,367 1,120
40 1,375 1,283
41 1,255 1,132
42 1,232 1,052
43 1,186 1,038
44 1,108 1,072
45 1,095 1,103
46 1,056 1,015
47 1,005 1,020
48 925 1,006
49 906 968
50 853 972
51 751 857
52 726 877
53 655 780
54 596 758
55 600 732
56 522 705
57 460 622
58 408 581
59 381 552
60 342 523
61 301 476
62 287 456
63 266 415
64 234 389
65 230 362
66 207 314
67 201 308
68 174 279
69 180 247
70 171 258
71 135 243
72 156 223
73 147 202
74 142 185
75 159 181
76 132 193
77 152 168
78 160 163
79 145 151
80 143 155
81 131 127
82 138 114
83 174 116
84 136 161
85 154 159
86 126 144
87 142 159
88 168 169
89 131 174

In terms of rates of violence against those aged 24 and younger, gaps between females and males varied by age group: older girls aged 12 to 17 had a rate that was 42% higher than older boys (2,181 versus 1,538), while young women aged 18 to 24 had a rate that was 38% higher than young men (2,295 versus 1,658). The rate of violence against younger girls aged 11 and younger was more comparable to the rate for younger boys, but it was still 12% higher (374 versus 333). These differences indicate that girls and young women are disproportionately victims of violent crime, and this pattern appears to continue until they reach age 45.

Smaller decline in rate of police-reported violence against girls and young women

Between 2009 and 2017, the overall rate of police-reported violence in Canada declined by 20%, with a smaller decrease noted for females than males (-16% versus -23%).Note  This difference was largely attributed to violence involving victims aged 24 and younger as the decline in rate was much smaller for younger girls (-2%), older girls (-9%) and young women (-22%) than their male counterparts (-16%, -33% and -34%, respectively) (Table 2).Note  Among those aged 25 and older, however, there was no notable difference in the decline in rate for women and men (-14% versus -16%).

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Self-reported violent victimization

The General Social Survey on Victimization measures three types of violence: sexual assault,Note  physical assaultNote  and robbery.Note  Violent victimization includes experiences that occurred in the 12 months that preceded the survey.Note 

In 2014, the overall rate of self-reported violent victimization among Canadians aged 15 and older was significantlyNote  higher for women than men (85 versus 68 incidents per 1,000 population).Note  Separated by age, young women—those aged 15 to 24—had the highest rate of self-reported violent victimization (216),Note  which was significantly higher than the rates for young men aged 15 to 24 and women aged 25 and older (115 and 63, respectively).Note 

Between 2004 and 2014, the rate of self-reported violent victimization for young women did not change significantly (from 205 to 209 incidents per 1,000 population).Note  Meanwhile, over the same time period, the rate of violent victimization for young men declined significantly (from 204 to 111 incidents).

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Sexual offences far more common among victims who are girls and young women

Among the most common types of police-reported violence committed against girls and young women, nearly all were physical assault offences (50%), sexual offences (29%) and other violent offences (21%).Note  Offences related to homicide or death were rare (0.2%).Note  In contrast, boys and young men were most often victims of physical assault offences (66%) and other violent offences (28%), while sexual offences were far less common (6%). Similar to girls and young women, physical assault offences were the most common type of offence committed against women aged 25 and older (65%); however, among women, other violent offences (27%) were more common than sexual offences (8%).

Rates highest for sexual offences against girls and physical assault offences against young women

Of all police-reported violence, rates for physical assault offences were similar for female and male victims aged 24 and younger (693 versus 676 per 100,000 population), and rates were also similar for other violent offences (291 versus 289) (Table 3). Meanwhile, however, victims who were girls and young women had an overall rate for sexual offences that was seven times higher than the rate for boys and young men (407 versus 58).

Regardless of age group, rates for sexual offences were higher for girls and young women than their male counterparts. Rates were three times higher for younger girls aged 11 and younger (181 versus 60 for younger boys), over nine times higher for older girls aged 12 to 17 (921 versus 98 for older boys) and nearly 14 times higher for young women and 18 to 24 (371 versus 27 for young men).

Among victims who were girls and young women, the type of offence with the highest rate shifted as they got older (Chart 2). For younger girls and older girls, sexual offences had the highest rate (181 and 921 per 100,000 population, respectively), followed by physical assault offences (141 and 817, respectively). The opposite emerged for young women: physical assault offences had a higher rate than sexual offences (1,392 versus 371).

Chart 2 Girls and young women who were victims of police-reported violent crime, by victim age group and type of offence, Canada, 2017

Data table for Chart 2 
Data table for chart 2
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for chart 2. The information is grouped by Type of offence (appearing as row headers), Victim age group, Younger girls, Older girls and Young women, calculated using rate per 100,000 population units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Type of offence Victim age group
Younger girlsData table Note 1 Older girlsData table Note 2 Young womenData table Note 3
rate per 100,000 population
Sexual offences 181 921 371
Physical assault offences 141 817 1,392
Other violent offences 51 441 528

For girls and young women, rates for physical assault offences peaked at age 20 (1,450), while sexual offences peaked at age 15 (1,243) and other violent offences peaked at age 18 (546).Note 

In terms of specific offences, rates of violence against girls and young women were highest for level 1 physical assault (547 per 100,000 population) and level 1 sexual assault (259) (Table 3).Note  These were followed by level 2 physical assault (129), sexual violations against childrenNote  (119) and uttering threats (118). Some offences, while less common, still had notably higher rates for girls and young women than their male counterparts. These included commodification of sexual activity; criminal harassment; kidnapping, forcible confinement, abduction and hostage taking; and indecent or harassing communications.

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Police-reported sexual assault

Recently, there has been an increase in societal awareness of and public discussion on the issue of sexual misconduct and sexual violence. In particular, the emergence of the #MeToo movement (me too. n.d.) has drawn attention to the prevalence of crimes such as sexual assault. According to the Incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting Survey, there were more incidents of police-reported sexual assault in 2017 than any other year since 1998. In 2017, the number of victims peaked in October—the month the #MeToo movement became widespread on social media—and continued to be especially high in November (Rotenberg and Cotter 2018). Given that many incidents of sexual assault are not reported to the police (see below), a minor change in reporting behaviours can have a significant impact on police-reported data. As such, the increase in police-reported sexual assault may be a reflection of more victims reporting their victimization to the police.

According to self-reported data from the 2014 General Social Survey on Victimization, one in twenty (5%E) incidents of sexual assaultNote  in the 12 months that preceded the survey was reported to the police (Conroy and Cotter 2017).Note  Among victims, young women aged 15 to 24 had the highest rates of self-reported sexual assault, with 134 incidents per 1,000 population. Meanwhile, the rate of self-reported sexual assault was 12 times lower for young men of the same age group (11E), two times lower for women aged 25 to 34 (58E) and eight times lower for women aged 35 to 44 (16E).Note 

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Rate for sexual offences against girls and young women increase while other types of offences decrease

While the overall rate of police-reported violence against girls and young women declined between 2009 and 2017, the same pattern did not emerge for sexual offences specifically (Chart 3).Note  Over that time period, sexual offences against girls and young women increased by 31% while physical assault offences and other violent offences both decreased (-24% and -38%, respectively). In comparison, the rate for sexual offences for victims who were boys and young men increased by 7% between 2009 and 2017.Note 

Chart 3 Girls and young women who were victims of police-reported violent crime, by type of offence and year, Canada, 2009 to 2017

Data table for Chart 3 
Data table for chart 3
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for chart 3. The information is grouped by Type of offence (appearing as row headers), 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, calculated using rate per 100,000 population units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Type of offence 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
rate per 100,000 population
Sexual offences 309 326 321 315 310 308 320 350 405
Physical assault offences 906 900 865 819 735 682 687 678 684
Other violent offences 468 469 401 375 331 290 286 286 291

Excluding 2017—a year when there was a great deal of awareness of and discussion on the issue of sexual misconduct and sexual violence—the increase in police-reported sexual offences among girls and young women was still notable between 2009 and 2016 (+13%).

Violence against girls and young women most often perpetrated by a male accused

Overall, the large majority (81%) of those accused of police-reported violence against girls and young women were male, and this was similar for boys and young men (79%) (Table 4).Note  Where the victim was a girl or young woman, male accused were most commonly aged 18 to 24, followed by 25 to 34. Regardless of the age group of the victim, males represented a large proportion of accused; however, some variation emerged. For instance, when victims were younger girls or younger boys aged 11 and younger, a male accused was equally common (both 78%). In contrast, the accused was male less often for older girls than older boys aged 12 to 17 (74% versus 88%), and more often for young women than young men aged 18 to 24 (86% versus 73%).

Overall, six in ten (59%) girls and young women were victimized by someone close in age (within five years), but this varied by age group.Note  For instance, older girls and young women were most often victimized by someone within five years of their own age (63% and 61%, respectively), but this was far less common for younger girls (24%).Note 

The proportion of girls and young women who were victimized by a male accused depended on the type of offence. For physical assault offences and other violent offences, three-quarters of accused were male (76% and 77%, respectively).Note  Meanwhile, the accused was male for nearly all (98%) sexual offences. Among girls and young women, there was some variation depending on the age group of the victim (Chart 4); however, males consistently represented a larger proportion of accused.

Chart 4 Girls and young women who were victims of police-reported violent crime, by victim age group, type of offence and accused sex, Canada, 2017

Data table for Chart 4 
Data table for chart 4
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for chart 4. The information is grouped by Type of offence and accused sex (appearing as row headers), Younger girls, Older girls and Young women, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Type of offence and accused sex Younger girlsData table Note 1 Older girlsData table Note 2 Young womenData table Note 3
percent
Sexual offences
Male 96 98 99
Female 4 2 1
Physical assault offences
Male 53 56 84
Female 47 44 16
Other violent offences
Male 56 62 85
Female 44 38 15

Girls and young women commonly victimized by someone close to them

The most common police-reported accused-victim relationship varied greatly depending on the sex of the victim. Girls and young women were far more commonly victimized by someone close to them. Around six in ten (57%) girls and young women were victimized by a family member, a non-spousal intimate partner or a friend, compared to three in ten (31%) of their male counterparts (Table 5).Note  In contrast, boys and young men were far more often victims of a casual acquaintance or a stranger than girls and young women (62% versus 37%).

Separating victims by age group, differences emerged once again. Most commonly, younger girls aged 11 and younger were victimized by a family member—usually a parent—and young women aged 18 to 24 were victimized by a non-spousal intimate partner (60% and 35%, respectively). Meanwhile, it was most common for older girls aged 12 to 17 to be victimized by a casual acquaintance (34%).

For younger girls and older girls, the most common accused-victim relationship remained consistent regardless of the type of offence (Chart 5). Young women, however, were most often victimized by a casual acquaintance when it came to sexual offences, and a non-spousal intimate partner for physical assault offences and other violent offences.

Chart 5 Girls and young women who were victims of police-reported violent crime, by victim age group, type of offence and relationship of accused to victim, Canada, 2017

Data table for Chart 5 
Data table for chart 5
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for chart 5. The information is grouped by Type of offence and relationship of accused to victim (appearing as row headers), Younger girls, Older girls and Young women, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Type of offence and relationship of accused to victim Younger girlsData table Note 1 Older girlsData table Note 2 Young womenData table Note 3
percent
Sexual offences
FamilyData table Note 4 62 22 11
Intimate partnerData table Note 5 Note ...: not applicable 12 15
FriendData table Note 6 7 14 10
Casual acquaintance 15 32 28
Stranger 8 14 26
OtherData table Note 7 9 6 10
Physical assault offences
FamilyData table Note 4 64 30 25
Intimate partnerData table Note 5 Note ...: not applicable 18 43
FriendData table Note 6 4 8 4
Casual acquaintance 16 32 12
Stranger 7 11 11
OtherData table Note 7 9 2 4
Other violent offences
FamilyData table Note 4 45 10 16
Intimate partnerData table Note 5 Note ...: not applicable 13 29
FriendData table Note 6 5 11 5
Casual acquaintance 23 41 18
Stranger 20 21 26
OtherData table Note 7 6 3 7

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Perceptions of personal safety and safety precautions

The 2014 General Social Survey (GSS) on Victimization asked about perceptions of personal safety.Note  Women, regardless of past victimization, are less likely to feel safe than men (Perreault 2017). According to self-reported data from the GSS on Victimization, young women—those aged 15 to 24—who were victims of violence in the 12 months that preceded the survey were significantlyNote  less likely to state that they were "satisfied or very satisfied" with their personal safety from crime than young women who were not victims (66% versus 88%). Among young women, those who were victims were also more likely to state that they felt "somewhat or very unsafe" when walking alone after darkNote  (31%E) and "somewhat or very worried" when home alone after darkNote  (30%) than those who had not been victimized (15% and 17%, respectively).

Differences also emerged when comparing women to men. Among victims violence, young women were less likely to state that they were "satisfied or very satisfied" with their personal safety from crime than young men (66% versus 85%). Young women were also more likely to state that they felt "somewhat or very unsafe" when walking alone after dark (31%E), and "somewhat or very worried" when home alone after dark (30%) and when using public transit alone after darkNote  (68%) than young men (11%E, 11%E and 34%E, respectively).Note 

The GSS on Victimization also asked about safety precautions that people have either set up or take on a regular basis. Young women—those aged 15 to 24—who were victims of violence were significantly more likely to state that they check the back seat for intruders when alone and returning to a parked car (55%) and that they carry something for self-defence or to alert other people (43%) than both young women who were not victims (37% and 20%, respectively) and young men who were victims (27%E and 25%E, respectively).

Among young women, those who had been victimized were more likely to plan routes with safety in mind (64%) and change routine or activities or avoid certain people or places (51%) than those who were not victims (52% and 27%, respectively). Among victims, young women were significantly more likely to lock windows and doors at home (93%) and rather than walk, use a car, a taxi or public transit for personal safety (56%) than young men (71% and 30%E).Note 

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Majority of girls and young women victimized on private property

Overall, the majority (62%) of police-reported violence against girls and young women occurred on private property, and this was less common for boys and young men (40%) (Table 6). Younger girls were most often victimized on private property (75%), followed by young women (65%) and older girls (54%). Inversely, boys and young men were more commonly victimized at an outside location (31%) than girls and young women (17%).

Of all girls and young women that were victimized on private property, one in three (34%) experienced violence in a home jointly occupied by the victim and the accused—likely reflected by victims of family violence—and this was even more common among women aged 25 and older (43%).Note  Meanwhile, an additional three in ten (31%) girls and young women were victimized in their own home (not occupied by the accused).

Regardless of the type of offence, girls and young women were still most often victimized on private property (Chart 6). This was most common for victims of sexual offences (66%), followed by physical assault offences (62%) and other violent offences (56%).

Chart 6 Girls and young women who were victims of police-reported violent crime, by type of offence and incident location, Canada, 2017

Data table for Chart 6 
Data table for chart 6
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for chart 6. The information is grouped by Incident location (appearing as row headers), Sexual offences, Physical assault offences and Other violent offences, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Incident location Sexual offences Physical assault offences Other violent offences
percent
Private propertyData table Note 1 66 62 56
Commercial locationData table Note 2 8 9 13
SchoolData table Note 3 7 6 11
Outside locationData table Note 4 14 20 16
OtherData table Note 5 4 3 4

Girls and young women most commonly victimized in the afternoon and the evening

The most common time periods for police-reported violence against girls and young women were the afternoon (32%) and the evening (31%), while the night (19%) and the morning (18%) were less common (Table 6). There was no notable difference in the day of the week they experienced violence: the most common days were Sunday and Saturday (both 15%) and the least common was Monday (13%).Note 

Comparing the different age groups, there was a similar pattern in terms of the day and the time girls and young women were victimized (Chart 7). Violence against older girls exceeded that against young women during the morning and the afternoon on weekdays. In contrast, violence against young women peaked in the evening and at night on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Chart 7 Girls and young women who were victims of police-reported violent crime, by victim age group, and incident day and time, Canada, 2017

Data table for Chart 7 
Data table for chart 7
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for chart 7. The information is grouped by Incident day and time (appearing as row headers), Younger girls, Older girls and Young women, calculated using number units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Incident day and time Younger girlsData table Note 1 Older girlsData table Note 2 Young womenData table Note 3
number
Sunday
12:00 AM 62 149 375
1:00 AM 12 137 459
2:00 AM 19 96 470
3:00 AM 9 81 469
4:00 AM 11 72 289
5:00 AM 3 45 250
6:00 AM 5 36 161
7:00 AM 5 41 132
8:00 AM 20 45 151
9:00 AM 23 44 178
10:00 AM 33 78 191
11:00 AM 33 76 198
12:00 PM 53 151 216
1:00 PM 42 100 215
2:00 PM 57 95 192
3:00 PM 42 111 213
4:00 PM 49 128 210
5:00 PM 43 150 238
6:00 PM 35 141 269
7:00 PM 45 128 239
8:00 PM 49 145 271
9:00 PM 38 134 304
10:00 PM 21 104 282
11:00 PM 64 172 269
Monday
12:00 AM 44 108 184
1:00 AM 17 74 165
2:00 AM 4 43 148
3:00 AM 3 33 146
4:00 AM 3 23 84
5:00 AM 6 22 73
6:00 AM 4 18 62
7:00 AM 16 22 72
8:00 AM 45 95 129
9:00 AM 26 108 161
10:00 AM 45 133 151
11:00 AM 40 179 179
12:00 PM 58 223 216
1:00 PM 40 170 203
2:00 PM 56 177 201
3:00 PM 87 252 238
4:00 PM 63 223 230
5:00 PM 74 148 235
6:00 PM 55 138 244
7:00 PM 46 134 263
8:00 PM 57 150 216
9:00 PM 27 119 223
10:00 PM 16 113 236
11:00 PM 70 202 265
Tuesday
12:00 AM 33 88 181
1:00 AM 5 30 152
2:00 AM 4 34 135
3:00 AM 0 23 112
4:00 AM 1 29 78
5:00 AM 3 16 56
6:00 AM 15 23 68
7:00 AM 13 37 75
8:00 AM 45 100 119
9:00 AM 46 118 153
10:00 AM 52 154 147
11:00 AM 49 186 168
12:00 PM 82 287 196
1:00 PM 62 187 215
2:00 PM 52 201 206
3:00 PM 80 288 251
4:00 PM 89 222 251
5:00 PM 49 184 222
6:00 PM 44 161 234
7:00 PM 52 144 235
8:00 PM 44 159 263
9:00 PM 27 140 255
10:00 PM 28 105 241
11:00 PM 66 156 301
Wednesday
12:00 AM 40 102 193
1:00 AM 12 42 153
2:00 AM 10 34 166
3:00 AM 4 34 129
4:00 AM 5 21 79
5:00 AM 3 22 77
6:00 AM 8 26 77
7:00 AM 13 36 87
8:00 AM 32 114 126
9:00 AM 39 123 133
10:00 AM 43 139 165
11:00 AM 51 190 179
12:00 PM 69 270 220
1:00 PM 53 192 187
2:00 PM 47 232 205
3:00 PM 73 282 224
4:00 PM 72 240 208
5:00 PM 57 178 238
6:00 PM 69 160 241
7:00 PM 49 126 249
8:00 PM 44 173 263
9:00 PM 44 139 239
10:00 PM 17 103 266
11:00 PM 92 182 254
Thursday
12:00 AM 44 110 199
1:00 AM 5 53 162
2:00 AM 4 29 158
3:00 AM 1 29 140
4:00 AM 8 25 89
5:00 AM 4 14 85
6:00 AM 7 20 85
7:00 AM 18 39 83
8:00 AM 40 92 138
9:00 AM 35 158 117
10:00 AM 48 153 174
11:00 AM 46 172 177
12:00 PM 77 253 218
1:00 PM 51 208 203
2:00 PM 69 187 183
3:00 PM 73 232 207
4:00 PM 62 219 246
5:00 PM 38 180 207
6:00 PM 41 126 214
7:00 PM 39 147 254
8:00 PM 52 158 242
9:00 PM 28 119 247
10:00 PM 24 91 217
11:00 PM 85 177 280
Friday
12:00 AM 45 95 236
1:00 AM 13 56 203
2:00 AM 9 57 222
3:00 AM 9 45 164
4:00 AM 7 32 133
5:00 AM 4 18 91
6:00 AM 6 22 97
7:00 AM 18 48 87
8:00 AM 42 77 129
9:00 AM 44 111 149
10:00 AM 31 133 164
11:00 AM 61 172 161
12:00 PM 59 248 254
1:00 PM 52 170 179
2:00 PM 50 190 212
3:00 PM 78 240 213
4:00 PM 87 184 230
5:00 PM 73 147 228
6:00 PM 52 149 200
7:00 PM 48 138 200
8:00 PM 47 156 266
9:00 PM 39 176 238
10:00 PM 22 169 264
11:00 PM 75 264 381
Saturday
12:00 AM 47 168 317
1:00 AM 11 127 365
2:00 AM 9 88 428
3:00 AM 13 85 395
4:00 AM 8 62 244
5:00 AM 12 46 199
6:00 AM 7 43 172
7:00 AM 10 45 128
8:00 AM 15 62 173
9:00 AM 20 53 153
10:00 AM 25 50 182
11:00 AM 27 84 196
12:00 PM 66 107 239
1:00 PM 22 80 223
2:00 PM 43 88 225
3:00 PM 41 122 200
4:00 PM 44 101 224
5:00 PM 35 125 280
6:00 PM 48 145 217
7:00 PM 38 118 249
8:00 PM 41 144 260
9:00 PM 30 179 254
10:00 PM 32 177 281
11:00 PM 63 260 390

Presence of a weapon not common for violence against girls and young women

Among victims of police-reported violence, girls and young women were involved in incidents where a weapon was present less often than boys and young men (14% versus 31%) (Table 6). Inversely, it was more common for girls and young women to be victims in incidents that involved physical force than their male counterparts (70% versus 57%).

Approximately four in ten (37%) girls and young women sustained a physical injury—nearly all minor in nature—from the violent incident they experienced. Injury was more common for boys and young men (45%) and women aged 25 and older (42%). Young women aged 18 to 24 were more often injured (45%) than older girls aged 12 to 17 (28%) and younger girls aged 11 and younger (26%).

Start of text box 5

Text box 5
Emotional and long-term impacts of violent victimization

The impact of violence is not limited to physical injury. As mentioned, it can have serious immediate and long-term consequences for victims (Briere and Rickards 2007; Fergusson et al. 2008; McDougall and Vaillancourt 2015; Patel and Taylor 2012; Turner et al. 2010; Wathen 2012). Self-reported data from the 2014 General Social Survey (GSS) on Victimization can provide further information on this topic.

Among young women—those aged 15 to 24—who were victims of violenceNote  in the 12 months that preceded the survey, the violent incidents they experienced commonly made them feel angry (33%E), upset, confused or frustrated (21%E), fearful (12%E) and more cautious or aware (10%E).Note  Among victims, violent incidents experienced by young women were significantlyNote  more likely than those experienced by young men to result in them trying hard not to think about the incident or going out of their way to avoid situations that reminded them of it (32%E versus 8%E).Note 

The GSS on Victimization also included retrospective questions on experiences of childhood abuse.Note  Among Canadians aged 15 and older, women were significantly more likely than men to have been victims of childhood sexual abuse (12% versus 4%), while women were less likely than men to have been victims of childhood physical abuse (22% versus 31%) (Burczycka and Conroy 2017). The vast majority (93%) of childhood abuse was not reported to the police or child protective services. Overall, victims of childhood abuse were more likely to say they have poor physical health, a mental or psychological condition,Note  and history of homelessness. They were also more likely to report recent drug use and binge drinking.Note 

End of text box 5

Victims who are girls and young women have a delay in reporting to the police more often

Delays in reporting—meaning that the incident was not reported to the police the same day it occurred—can happen for a variety of reasons. This applies not only to victims but also witnesses and, for the youngest victims, intervening adults. Reasons for a delay in reporting may include a sense of fear or shame, a belief that there is a lack of evidence, a view that the incident was a private or personal matter, a lack of confidence in the police or the criminal justice system, and a desire to avoid getting the offender in trouble. Young victims are also unique in that they may be unaware that they are being victimized, may not know how to seek help, may be unable to report their victimization or may be dependent on the perpetrator.

Of all girls and young women who were victims of violence, just under three-quarters (72%) had no delay in reporting.Note  A delay in reporting was more common among girls and young women (28%) than boys and young men (19%) and women aged 25 and older (16%). In terms of the accused-victim relationship, a delay in reporting was somewhat more common for girls and young women where the accused was a family member (33%) than a non-family member (27%).

A delay in reporting varied by the age group of the victim and the type of offence. Younger girls aged 11 and younger most often had a delay in reporting (48%), followed by older girls aged 12 to 17 (37%) and young women aged 18 to 24 (18%). Among girls and young women overall, a delay in reporting was most common for sexual offences (54%), followed by other violent offences (22%) and physical assault offences (16%).Note  For sexual offences, girls and young women had a delay in reporting more often than women aged 25 and older (54% versus 41%); however, boys and young men most often had a delay for this type of offence (60%).

Start of text box 6

Text box 6
Perceptions of the police and reporting violent victimization to the police

A willingness to report victimization to the police is likely impacted by several factors, including perceptions of the police. According to self-reported data from the 2014 General Social Survey on Victimization, young women—those aged 15 to 24—who were victims of violence in the 12 months that preceded the survey were significantlyNote  less likely to have "a great deal of confidence" (24%E) in the police than young women who were not victims (42%).

Among young women, those who were victims of violence were also significantly less likely than those who were not victims to state that they perceived the police as doing a "good job" of enforcing the laws (31% versus 59%), treating people fairly (41% versus 63%), being approachable and easy to talk to (39% versus 59%), ensuring the safety of citizens in the area (46% versus 66%), and promptly responding to calls (45% versus 59%). In addition, young women who were victims were less likely than both young women who were not victims and young men who were victims to perceive the police as doing a "good job" of providing information on ways to prevent crime (28%E versus 51% and 43%, respectively).

Among victims of violence,Note  11%E of incidents experienced by young women were reported to the police, significantly less than 28%E of incidents experienced by young men. Among young women and young men who were victims of violence, a common reason incidents were not reported to the police was because victims considered the crime as minor and not worth taking the time to report (75% and 80%, respectively). Other reasons for not reporting were that the incident was a private or personal matter and it was handled informally (67% of young women and 65% of young men) and that they did not want the hassle of dealing with the police (59% of young women and 68% of young men).

End of text box 6

More common for victims who are girls and young women to have violent incidents cleared by charge

While girls and young women had a delay in reporting to the police more often, they still had the incidents in which they were victimized cleared by the laying or recommendation of a charge against the accused more often than boys and young men (49% versus 38%) (Table 6).Note  For another 21% of girls and young women who were victims, incidents were cleared otherwise, while 30% were involved in incidents that were not cleared.

Separating victims by age group, young women most often had the incidents in which they were victimized cleared by charge (57%). The proportions of younger girls and older girls who were victims that had the incident cleared by charge were similar (40% and 41%, respectively).

For each type of offence, victims who were girls and young women had the incident cleared by charge more often than boys and young men (Chart 8). The largest gap was for physical assault offences: 57% of girls and young women who were victims had the incident cleared by charge compared to 39% of their male counterparts. Among girls and young women, nearly half (44%) of those who were victims of sexual offences had the incident remain not cleared, far more common than those who were victims of physical assault offences (21%) and other violence offences (31%). This may be attributed to the nature of sexual offences and the unique investigative challenges of such crimes (Rotenberg 2017).

Chart 8 Victims of police-reported violent crime, by victim age group and sex, and type of offence and clearance status, Canada, 2017

Data table for Chart 8 
Data table for chart 8
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for chart 8. The information is grouped by Type of offence and clearance status (appearing as row headers), Girls and young women and Boys and young men, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Type of offence and clearance status Girls and young womenData table Note 1 Boys and young menData table Note 1
percent
Sexual offences
Not ClearedData table Note 2 44 48
Cleared by chargeData table Note 3 40 34
Cleared otherwiseData table Note 4 16 19
Physical assault offences
Not ClearedData table Note 2 21 32
Cleared by chargeData table Note 3 57 39
Cleared otherwiseData table Note 4 23 29
Other violent offences
Not ClearedData table Note 2 31 43
Cleared by chargeData table Note 3 45 38
Cleared otherwiseData table Note 4 24 19

Among girls and young women who were victims, differences also emerged depending on the type of offence (Chart 9). Sexual offences were most often cleared by charge when the victim was a younger girl or older girl (42% and 41%, respectively). Meanwhile, physical assault offences were most often cleared by charge when the victim was a young woman (64%). Regardless of age group, a larger proportion of sexual offences remained not cleared compared to physical assault offences and other violent offences.

Chart 9 Girls and young women who were victims of police-reported violent crime, by victim age group, type of offence and clearance status, Canada, 2017

Data table for Chart 9 
Data table for chart 9
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for chart 9. The information is grouped by Type of offence and clearance status (appearing as row headers), Younger girls, Older girls and Young women, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Type of offence and clearance status Younger girlsData table Note 1 Older girlsData table Note 2 Young womenData table Note 3
percent
Sexual offences
Not clearedData table Note 4 40 42 52
Cleared by chargeData table Note 5 42 41 35
Cleared otherwiseData table Note 6 18 17 13
Physical assault offences
Not clearedData table Note 4 32 23 18
Cleared by chargeData table Note 5 34 45 64
Cleared otherwiseData table Note 6 34 32 18
Other violent offences
Not clearedData table Note 4 26 34 31
Cleared by chargeData table Note 5 46 34 51
Cleared otherwiseData table Note 6 28 32 19

Lower rate of homicide for victims who are girls and young women

Between 2007 and 2017,Note  three in ten (29%) victims of homicide were aged 24 and younger (Table 7). On average, homicide rates for girls and young women during the same time period were three times lower than boys and young men (0.83 versus 2.49 per 100,000 population). Among females, the homicide rate for those aged 24 and younger was, on average, lower than the rate for those aged 25 and older (0.83 versus 0.95).

Aboriginal girls and young women over-represented among victims of homicide

Aboriginal people—those who identify as First Nations, Métis or Inuit—represent 5% of the Canadian population, and they are generally younger than the non-Aboriginal population (Statistics Canada 2017b). More specifically, 7% of the female population aged 24 and younger is Aboriginal (Statistics Canada 2017a).

Between 2007 and 2017, Aboriginal girls and young women were over-represented among victims of homicide. Of the 454 girls and young women who were victims of homicide during that time period, information on Aboriginal identity was recorded for 450 of them and, of these, 34% were Aboriginal and 66% were non-Aboriginal.Note  More specifically, 75 (17%) girls and young women who were victims of homicide were First Nations, 12 (3%) were Métis and 9 (2%) were Inuit. The remaining 57 (13%) Aboriginal girls and young women were recorded as Aboriginal but it was not known to which identity group they belonged.Note 

Girls and young women killed by someone close to them far more often

Between 2007 and 2017, girls and young women who were victims of homicide were most often killed by a male accused (78%) (Table 8). In contrast, a male accused was much more common for boys and young men and women aged 25 and older who were victims of homicide (both 92%). The proportion of female accused was nearly three times higher when victims were girls and young women than their male counterparts (22% versus 8%), and the proportion of female accused was highest for victims who were younger girls (44%).

Similar to other types of police-reported violence, girls and young women were killed by someone close to them far more often than boys and young men. A family member (52%) or a non-spousal intimate partner (16%) was most often accused of homicide involving girls and young women, much less common for homicide involving their male counterparts (21% and 1%, respectively) (Table 9). Meanwhile, boys and young men were more commonly killed by a casual acquaintance (29%) or a stranger (23%) compared to girls and young women (14% and 8%, respectively).

Clear differences emerged by age group. Three in four (75%) younger girls aged 11 and younger were killed by a parent. Among older girls aged 12 to 17, one in four (24%) was killed by a parent, closely followed by a casual acquaintance (22%) and a non-spousal intimate partner (19%). In contrast, young women aged 18 to 24 were most commonly killed by a spouse (25%) or a non-spousal intimate partner (24%).Note 

Half of girls and young women killed by someone with a prior conviction

Half (48%) of girls and young women who were victims of homicide were killed by someone who had a previous conviction in Canada, most often another violent offence such as sexual assault or physical assault (Table 10). This was largely driven by those who killed a young woman as six in ten (58%) had a prior conviction. This was, however, even more common among those who killed a young man (65%).

Girls and young women were most often killed by someone under the influence of an intoxicating substance (63%); however, this was more common among boys and young men (70%). Of those under the influence of an intoxicating substance who were accused of killing a girl or young woman, alcohol only was most common, followed by alcohol and drugs, and drugs only.

Of all homicide between 2007 and 2017, girls and young women were most often stabbed (26%), beaten (22%) or strangled, suffocated or drowned (22%) (Table 11). A smaller proportion of girls and young women were shot (17%) compared to boys and young men (42%) and women aged 25 and older (22%).

Proportionally, among victims of homicide, certain motives were much more common for girls and young women than boys and young men. While jealousy was about three times more common (11% versus 4%) and frustration, anger or despair was about twice as common (33% versus 15%), sexual violence as the primary motive for homicide was approximately 50 times more common overall for homicide where the victim was a girl or young woman than a boy or young man (9% versus 0.2%). Sexual violence was most often the primary motive for homicide where the victim was an older girl (21%), while no older boy was killed primarily for this reason between 2007 and 2017.Note 

Frustration, anger or despair was the most common primary motive for homicide involving girls and young women (33%); however, differences emerged by age group. Among victims who were younger girls aged 11 and younger, frustration, anger or despair was by far the most common motive for homicide (64%), while among older girls aged 12 to 17, frustration, anger or despair (27%) was closely followed by sexual violence (21%) and an argument or quarrel (19%). For young women aged 18 to 24 who were victims, an argument or quarrel (38%) was the most common type of motive, followed by frustration, anger or despair (18%) and jealousy (14%).

Violence against girls and young women highest in the territories, Saskatchewan and Manitoba

In 2017, the rate of violence against girls and young women was higher than for boys and young men in every province and territory (Table 12). Similar to crime in general (Allen 2018), rates of violence were highest for girls and young women in the territories: the Northwest Territories had the highest rate (8,909 per 100,000 population), followed by Nunavut (7,491) and Yukon (4,356). Among the provinces, rates were highest in Saskatchewan (2,769) and Manitoba (2,635), and lowest in Ontario (1,093) and British Columbia (1,117).

Among girls and young women, rates were higher in the territories than the provinces for every age group, regardless of the type of offence (Chart 10). Higher rates of violence in the territories was largely driven by physical assault offences: most notably, the rate for physical assault offences was more than seven times higher for older girls and more than nine times higher for young women in the territories (5,765 and 12,405, respectively) than it was in the provinces (797 and 1,351, respectively).

Chart 10 Girls and young women who were victims of police-reported violent crime, by victim age group, type of offence and geographic location, Canada, 2017

Data table for Chart 10 
Data table for chart 10
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for chart 10. The information is grouped by Type of offence and geographic location (appearing as row headers), Younger girls, Older girls and Young women, calculated using rate per 100,000 population units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Type of offence and geographic location Younger girlsData table Note 1 Older girlsData table Note 2 Young womenData table Note 3
rate per 100,000 population
Sexual offences
Provinces 178 910 367
Territories 676 3,703 1,538
Physical assault offences
Provinces 139 797 1,351
Territories 505 5,765 12,405
Other violent offences
Provinces 51 438 524
Territories 99 1,175 1,654

Higher rates of violence in the territories are likely affected by many social and economic factors that are unique within Canada, and these likely have an impact on the nature of victimization itself. For instance, in the northern region, the population is younger, people live in more remote communities and there are higher rates of unemployment. These characteristics have been associated with a higher risk for victimization (Allen and Perreault 2015; Perreault and Simpson 2016).

Rates of violence against girls and young women higher in rural areas

In 2017, the rate of police-reported violence was 1.8 times higher for girls and young women in rural areas than it was in urban areas (2,212 versus 1,236 per 100,000 population) (Table 12).Note  When the territories were excluded, this difference remained for the provinces: violence against girls and young women was still 1.7 times higher in rural areas than urban areas (2,091 versus 1,231) (Chart 11). For victims in both urban and rural areas in the provinces, rates of violence were higher for girls and young women than boys and young men.

Chart 11 Victims of police-reported violent crime, by victim age group and sex, and urban or rural area, Canadian provinces, 2017

Data table for Chart 11 
Data table for chart 11
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for chart 11. The information is grouped by Victim age group and sex (appearing as row headers), Urban area and Rural area, calculated using rate per 100,000 population units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Victim age group and sex Urban areaData table Note 1 Rural areaData table Note 1
rate per 100,000 population
11 and younger
Female 320 614
Male 298 487
12 to 17
Female 1,939 3,151
Male 1,470 1,797
18 to 24
Female 2,009 3,700
Male 1,543 2,212

The rate of violence for girls and young women remained higher in rural areas than in urban areas across the provinces. The largest differences were noted in Saskatchewan (2.1 times higher in rural areas), Manitoba (1.8 times higher) and Newfoundland and Labrador (1.6 times higher). This pattern was similar for their male counterparts, with the exceptions of Nova Scotia and British Columbia (Table 12). The urban-rural difference for boys and young men, however, was often much smaller than it was for girls and young women.

Among girls and young women in the provinces, rates were higher for each type of offence in rural areas than urban areas; however, the urban-rural difference varied by age group and type of offence (Chart 12). Among younger girls aged 11 and younger, the rate for both sexual offences and physical assault offences was 2.0 times higher in rural areas. Meanwhile, the rate for physical assault offences in rural areas was 1.9 times higher for older girls aged 12 to 17 and 2.4 times higher for young women aged 18 to 24.

Chart 12 Girls and young women who were victims of police-reported violent crime, by victim age group, type of offence and urban or rural area, Canadian provinces, 2017

Data table for Chart 12 
Data table for chart 12
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for chart 12. The information is grouped by Type of offence and urban or rural area (appearing as row headers), Younger girls, Older girls and Young women, calculated using rate per 100,000 population units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Type of offence and urban or rural area Younger girlsData table Note 1 Older girlsData table Note 2 Young womenData table Note 3
rate per 100,000 population
Sexual offences
Urban areaData table Note 4 153 835 362
Rural areaData table Note 4 303 1,274 396
Physical assault offences
Urban areaData table Note 4 120 686 1,128
Rural areaData table Note 4 234 1,336 2,719
Other violent offences
Urban areaData table Note 4 46 417 515
Rural areaData table Note 4 76 539 579

Violence against girls and young women higher in every census metropolitan area

The rate of police-reported violent crime was lower in larger cities—referred to as census metropolitan areasNote  (CMAs)—for girls and young women than in non-CMAs (1,123 versus 2,064 per 100,000 population) (Table 13). This pattern was consistent for boys and young men, although the difference was smaller (914 versus 1,316).

Of the CMAs, rates of violence against girls and young women were highest in Thunder Bay (2,244), Moncton (1,796) and Winnipeg (1,785) and lowest in Barrie (854) and Vancouver (877). Overall rates of violence against girls and young women were higher than those for boy and young men and women aged 25 and older in all CMAs.

Decrease in violence against girls and young women noted in nearly every province and territory

Every province and territory recorded a decline in the rate of police-reported violence against girls and young women between 2009 and 2017, with the exception of Quebec (Table 14).Note  In general, among those aged 24 and younger, decreases were smaller for female victims than their male counterparts. This was likely a reflection of the increase in sexual offences—a type of offence for which girls and young women had higher rates of victimization—during the same time period. The largest differences between girls and young women and boys and young men were in Quebec (+1% versus -24%) and Yukon (-10% versus -35%).

Between 2009 and 2017, in nearly every province and territory, the overall rate violence had a larger decline for girls and young women than women aged 25 and older. The exceptions were Quebec, where the percent change in rate was similar (+1% versus -0.2%), and Nova Scotia, where the decrease was smaller for girls and young women who were victims than their older counterparts (-20% versus -27%).

Summary

Findings from the Incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting Survey show that girls and young women aged 24 and younger are at particularly high risk of violence in Canada. In 2017, the rate of police-reported violent crime was higher for victims who were girls and young women than boys and young men and women aged 25 and older. Further, while the rate of police-reported violence has declined overall since 2009, the decrease was smaller for victims who were girls and young women than their male counterparts.

Rates for sexual offences were much higher for girls and young women than boys and young men, and research indicates that much of this violence goes unreported to the police. Among girls and young women, the rate of police-reported sexual offences increased since 2009, while the rates for physical assault offences and other violent offences declined.

An understanding of violence against girls and young women can help develop strategies that can protect them in more precise and targeted ways. For instance, in 2017, sexual offences had the highest rate among victims who were younger girls aged 11 and younger and older girls aged 12 to 17; however, those accused of violence were most often a family member for younger girls and a casual acquaintance for older girls. In contrast, the highest rate among victims who were young women aged 18 to 24 was for physical assault offences and those accused of violence were most often a non-spousal intimate partner. Regardless of the type of offence, violence against girls and young women was most often perpetrated by a male accused, and it most commonly occurred on private property.

Among victims, girls and young women had a delay in reporting the violent incident they experienced to the police, more often than boys and young men. Despite this, it was more common for victims who were girls and young women to have the incident cleared by charge than their male counterparts, regardless of the type of offence.

Detailed data tables

Table 1 Victims of police-reported violent crime, by victim age and sex, Canada, 2017

Table 2 Victims of police-reported violent crime, by victim age group and sex, and year, Canada, 2009 to 2017

Table 3 Victims of police-reported violent crime, by victim age group and sex, and type of offence, Canada, 2017

Table 4 Victims of police-reported violent crime, by victim age group and sex, and age group and sex of accused, Canada, 2017

Table 5 Victims of police-reported violent crime, by victim age group and sex, and relationship of accused to victim, Canada, 2017

Table 6 Victims of police-reported violent crime, by victim age group and sex, and incident characteristic, Canada, 2017

Table 7 Victims of homicide, by victim age group and sex, and year, Canada, 2007 to 2017

Table 8 Victims of homicide, by victim age group and sex, and age group and sex of accused, Canada, 2007 to 2017

Table 9 Victims of homicide, by victim age group and sex, and relationship of accused to victim, Canada, 2007 to 2017

Table 10 Victims of homicide, by victim age group and sex, and accused characteristic, Canada, 2007 to 2017

Table 11 Victims of homicide, by victim age group and sex, and incident characteristic, Canada, 2007 to 2017

Table 12 Victims of police-reported violent crime, by victim age group and sex, province or territory and urban or rural area, Canada, 2017

Table 13 Victims of police-reported violent crime, by victim age group and sex, and census metropolitan area, Canada, 2017

Table 14 Victims of police-reported violent crime, by victim age group and sex, and province or territory, Canada, 2009 and 2017

Survey description

Incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting Survey

The Incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Survey collects detailed information on criminal incidents that have come to the attention of, and have been substantiated by, police services in Canada. Information includes characteristics of victims, accused persons and incidents. In 2017, data from police services covered 99% of the population of Canada. The count for a particular year represents incidents reported during that year, regardless of when the incident actually occurred.

One incident can involve multiple offences. In order to ensure comparability, counts are presented based on the most serious offence in the incident as determined by a standard classification rule used by all police services. Counts based on all violations are available upon request.

Victim age is calculated based on the end date of an incident, as reported by the police. Some victims experience violence over a period of time, sometimes years, all of which may be considered by the police to be part of one continuous incident. Information about the number and dates of individual incidents for these victims of continuous violence is not available. Counts represent the number of victims involved in incidents of violence. It is possible that individual victims may have experienced more than one incident, and would therefore be counted more than once here.

Homicide Survey

The Homicide Survey collects detailed information on all homicide that has come to the attention of, and has been substantiated by, police services in Canada. Information includes characteristics of victims, accused persons and incidents. Since 1961 when recording began, coverage for the Homicide Survey has represented 100% of homicide in Canada. The count for a particular year represents homicide reported during that year, regardless of when the homicide actually occurred.

General Social Survey on Canadians' Safety (Victimization)

The General Social Survey (GSS) on Canadians' Safety (Victimization) surveys Canadians aged 15 and older on their personal experiences with victimization, examines the risk factors associated with victimization, examines rates of reporting to the police, assesses the nature and extent of spousal violence, measures fear of crime, and examines public perceptions of crime and the criminal justice system.

This article uses data from the 2014 GSS on Victimization, the sixth cycle conducted by Statistics Canada. Previous cycles were conducted in the Canadian provinces in 1988, 1993, 1999, 2004 and 2009. The 2014 survey on victimization was also conducted in Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut using a different sampling design. The GSS on Victimization had also been conducted in the territories in 2009 and was preceded by test collections in 1999 and 2004.

In 2014, the provincial sample size was 33,127 respondents. Of that number, 2,787 were from the oversample. The territorial sample size was 2,040 respondents. In 2004, the sample included 23,766 respondents from the provinces only.

Data collection

Data collection differed between the provinces and territories. In the provinces, data collection took place from January to December 2014, inclusively. Responses were obtained by computer-assisted telephone interviews (CATI). Respondents were able to respond in the official language of their choice.

In the territories, data collection took place from August 2014 to January 2015, inclusively. The method of collection was a mixture of CATI and personal interviews (CAPI). Most cases started as CATI at the regional office and could be transferred to a CAPI interviewer depending on the community and collection constraints. Respondents were interviewed in the official language of their choice.

Response rates

In the provinces, the overall response rates were 53% in 2014 and 75% in 2004. Non-respondents included people who refused to participate, could not be reached, or could not speak English or French. Respondents in the sample were weighted so that their responses represent the non-institutionalized population aged 15 and older in the provinces.

In the territories, the overall response rate was 59% in 2014. Non-respondents included people who refused to participate, could not be reached, or could not speak English or French. Respondents in the sample were weighted so that their responses represent the non-institutionalized population aged 15 and older in the territories. In 2004, data were collected in the territories on a pilot basis only and are not available for analysis.

Data limitations

As with any household survey, there are some data limitations. The results are based on a sample and are therefore subject to sampling errors. Somewhat different results might have been obtained if the entire population had been surveyed. This article uses the coefficient of variation (CV) as a measure of the sampling error. Estimates with a high CV (over 33.3%) were not published because they were too unreliable. In these cases, the symbol "F" is used in place of an estimate in the figures and data tables. Estimates with a CV between 16.6 and 33.3 should be used with caution and the symbol "E" is used. Where descriptive statistics and cross-tabular analysis were used, statistically significant differences were determined using 95% confidence intervals.

References

Allen, M. 2018. "Police‑reported crime statistics in Canada, 2017." Juristat. Vol. 38, no. 1. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 85‑002‑X.

Allen, M. and S. Perreault. 2015. "Police-reported crime in Canada's provincial north and territories, 2013." Juristat. Vol. 35, no. 1. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 85-002-X.

Benoit, C., Shumka, L., Phillips, R., Kennedy, M. and L. Belle-Isle. 2015. Issue Brief: Sexual Violence Against Women in Canada. December. Status of Women Canada.

Briere, J. and S. Rickards. 2007. "Self-awareness, affect regulation, and relatedness: Differential equals of childhood versus adult victimization experiences." The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. Vol. 195, no. 6. p. 497-503.

Burczycka, M. and S. Conroy. 2018. "Family violence in Canada: A statistical profile, 2016." Juristat. Vol. 38, no. 1. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 85-002-X.

Burczycka, M. and S. Conroy. 2017. "Family violence in Canada: A statistical profile, 2015." Juristat. Vol. 37, no. 1. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 85-002-X.

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