It is hard to understand in this day and age that a report would be published showing such one sided statistics. It reduces the credibility of Statistics Canada as an agency supposedly gender neutral and one wonders if there is a hidden agenda involved. It casts a shadow over their competence when studies clearly show females kill or injure their children at a far greater rate than men and they initiate violence against their male and female spouses (lesbians tend to have a higher rate of DV than heterosexual couples) in almost equal quantities. It certainly fits the feminist agenda of one sided statistical reporting. MJM
October 30, 2008
The Honourable Tony Clement, PC, MP – Parry Sound- Muskoka
Minister of Industry House of Commons Parliament Hill Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
Subject: Report: “Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile 2008” Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics - Statistics Canada
Dear Minister Clement:
The report entitled: “Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile 2008” recently made public by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics-Statistics Canada is flawed. It deals with the issues of domestic/ spousal abuse and of family violence from a narrow/ one-sided perspective. The report is entrenched in the prevailing Canadian prejudices and stereotypes perpetuated, over the last thirty-three years, by publicly-subsidised special interest groups, associations, and their advocates and networks. Examples from the report are: 1) A heading highlights: “Males commit the majority of family-related violence against children and youth” (providing a summary chart). The report stresses that: “fathers are more likely than mothers to be the perpetrators” of domestic violence. Yet, the detailed charts provided do not distinguish the gender of the “parent” or “family” member responsible for abuse/assault of children and youth. Further blurring reality, the report lumps into the category of “parent”, the mother’s live-in boyfriend (foot-noted as “step” parent). As such, the distinction is not made between the children’s natural father and the stranger (to the children) brought in by the mother. It would be revealing to know who is actually committing physical and sexual abuse of children and youth: the mother’s boyfriend or the children’s real natural father. Interestingly and perhaps reflecting the report authors’ penchant, the report could not bring itself to identify the gender of the perpetrators who most often kill infants under the age of one year (there are no charts here, nor a heading highlighting which gender). At least the report does accurately report that baby boys “tend to be at somewhat greater risk than baby girls” (at raising that gender’s ire).
2) Also strangely, the report acknowledges it does not include / recognise types of abuse and violence against children and youth ranging from “child maltreatment and neglect to abduction and criminal harassment”. Perhaps again here, the usual perpetrators are too gender-identifiable. Or do those responsible for the “incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting Survey” (data collectors) not consider it a crime of domestic abuse and violence, for some “persons” to malnourish, maltreat, neglect, and fail to provide the basic needs and security to children and youth? Are these “persons” ever charged and reported to police services, even less convicted? If they are not, it could be asked: why not?
3) In a matter-of-fact approach, the report addresses the issue of shelters for abused women (and their children), said to complement other programs and services for victims of violence, while ignoring the availability (or not) of shelters, programs and services for abused men and their children. Data seems to have been collected by the Transition Home Survey (THS) focussing only on women and their children using Canada’s shelters for abused women. Data is lacking about abused men and whether there are sufficient (if any) shelters and services for them and their children. The report does not seem to make a connection between shelters and abused men.
4) The report hastens to attempt to rationalize why women use weapons to inflict physical injury to men. Yet, no equitable attempt seems to have been made to explain why a majority of physical injuries would be caused by men, neglecting to point out that because men are generally stronger and heavier than women, physical injury may (obviously) be more apparent/visible when they resort to physical force, than when women apply physical force. 5) It is stated that Statistics Canada conducted the “Maternity Experiences Survey” (MES) on behalf of the Public Health Agency of Canada, collecting data on important perinatal health indicators, from the perspective of mothers, who had recently given birth. Data is provided on how some of these mothers suffer various forms of domestic abuse. However, Statistics Canada does not seem to have collected data about these mothers, and the report fails to discuss the abuse (emotional, psychological, and/or physical) inflicted by some mothers (of newborns) on their husband, partner, or boyfriend, during the nine-months of pregnancy, and after the birth. This is quite an omission if indeed women, during pregnancy and after giving birth, undergo hormonal / mood swings which may affect their behaviour, the symptoms of “syndromes” often pointed to, in order to explain women’s bad behaviour and their actions. The levels of abuse and violence, silently endured by the husband, partner, or boyfriend, at the whims of these women (mothers) seems unworthy of this report’s attention.
6) The report states that incidents involving female victims were more likely to result in a charge being laid than those involving male victims. That may be in direct reaction to what is more visible and tangible to police officers, at the scene of the assault. Unfortunately, because of their size and strength, men are more likely to leave bruises/marks when they strike, slap, or even squeeze an arm. Conversely, men who have been struck, slapped, punched, and/or have been the target of thrown objects, from their spouse, partner or girlfriend, may not have the bruises or cuts to show for it, and therefore are clearly at a disadvantage when meeting with police officers. While physical assaults on men may not always leave a mark, it is most often the emotional and psychological abuse (equally not apparent) which cuts the deepest. The report is silent on these realities.
7) Nor does the report concern itself as to whether Canadian police services, and particularly female officers, specifically “trained / sensitized” in the one-sided approach on how to deal with domestic disturbance / violence cases, are truly objective or inclined to target the men. Also, considering the billions of tax-payers’ dollars disbursed over the last 33 years, the report does not assess, nor does it question, whether all of the resources available to Canadian women, such as the legions of publicly-funded women’s groups, associations, centers, their advocates, networks, feminist lobbyists, and their United Way Campaigns-funded activities and projects, all pre-occupied with women’s concerns, needs and their welfare, exert undue pressure on police forces (and politicians) to “get the guy” and absolve the woman?
8) Much of this report’s “Data Sources” are from information reported to, and accusations formally recorded by, Canadian police services. The figures reported are not based on convictions, where the accused was found guilty. Therefore, the report’s figures may be showing an inaccurate representation of “actual” domestic abuse and violence in Canada. This is especially probable, given the annual number of false accusations of sexual assault and domestic violence which are subsequently, either retracted by the accuser, or found to be unsubstantiated. Indeed, the prevailing climate in Canada is conducive to women making accusations against men. She has nothing to lose. Her identity remains anonymous, with little probability of any consequences to her, when it is revealed it was all a fabrication. While the accused man’s life / reputation are ruined (the identity of the accused is eagerly publicized, the publicly-funded women’s groups make sure of that), often with havoc caused in smaller communities, and much waste of taxpayers’ money, any charges of mischief which may have been laid against these dangerous women are quickly dismissed. It would be interesting to know how many Canadian men’s groups, associations, centers, and shelters are contributors to, collaborate with, and/or are regularly consulted by “victim services agencies in Canada”? How many of them participate in providing “police-reported data” as well as contributing to police services’ databases? Did Statistics Canada ensure that its “Data Sources” and its data collectors had access to objective, gender equitable data for this report? Given these realities, existing prejudices and stereotypes, and the lack of resources and support for spousal-abused, frightened men, how many men are discouraged from coming forward about their plight? Where can they go, and who is there to give them support, guidance, and shelter in a respectful, non-sexist manner? How many men are there, in Canadian society, silently suffering yet not accounted for, in this report? This report does not even consider these issues.
Consequently, this report should be viewed as incomplete on the issue of spousal abuse and domestic violence in Canada, presenting only the female perspective, or half the reality. In so doing, this report accentuates the glaring need for equal support and consideration for abused men as victims of domestic violence in Canada. That a system of double-standards exists in Canada, concerning public funding and support, community support and services, even methodologies in data collection and reporting on the subject, which presently privileges/focuses on some victims of spousal abuse and domestic violence over others, based on gender, is underlined by this report’s focus, its content and its omissions.
An objective perspective and assessment of spousal abuse and domestic violence in Canada is urgently needed. It is time to end the gender double-standards in Canadian society, and work towards a truly “Just Society”.
R.K. Ozga c.c.: The Honourable Anne C. Cools, Senator, The Senate of Canada Michael Coren, “The Michael Coren Show”, CTS TV Clive Doucet, Councillor, Capital Ward, City of Ottawa Lowell Green, CHUM Radio CFRA Ottawa Edward Greenspon, Editor-in-Chief, The Globe & Mail The Honourable Helena Guergis, P.C., MP – Sincoe-Grey, Minister responsible for the Status of Women Barbara Kay, The National Post Doug Kelly, Editor-in-Chief, The National Post Barbara McInnes, President & CEO, Community Foundation of Ottawa Earl McRae, The Ottawa Sun The Honourable Madeleine Meilleur, MPP - Ottawa-Vanier Minister of Community and Social Services, Minister responsible-Francophone Affairs The Honourable Robert Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., MP - Niagara Falls Minister of Justice & Attorney General of Canada Jeremy Swanson, FathersCan, Ottawa David Warren, The Ottawa Citizen Kenneth Whyte, Editor-in-Chief & publisher, Maclean’s Magazine REAL Women of Canada