Saturday, November 11, 2006

Canadian Men Killing Canadian Women

In Canada, on average, more than one woman a week is killed by her male partner.

[Reference: Beattie, K. "Spousal Homicide". Family Violence in Canada 2005: A Statistical Profile. Canadian Centre of Justice Statistics. Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2005.]

7 comments:

Executive Intelligence Network said...

I wasn't going to comment. I almost kept on surfing. I thought, "This is not news".

It occurs to me that my thought of "this is not news" is telling in itself. Ouch.

Scott said...

Yeah...I was thinking something along those lines when I decided to post it...

Anonymous said...

thats not very many, is it?

Scott said...

Sounds like way too many, if you ask me...especially when you consider that this stat represents only the most extreme form that abuse takes, and that the other forms are far, far more common.

Just pause and think for a moment how the media and the powerful white men who run this country would be reacting if one person per week in Canada was verifiably killed by people linked to Al Qaeda. Then there would be media hoopla, changes in laws, massive new investment of dollars, strong statements of condemnation made by all. But since it is women killed by their male partners, it is ho hum, it is 'normal', it is "not very many", it is 'whatchagonna do?', it is somehow not really worth noting in the same way.

To quote from an earlier post: "physical and/or sexual violence at the hands of a man -- something almost all women that I know well enough to know this sort of thing about have already experienced at least once."

Anonymous said...

Just a question of priorities:- a heck of a lot more people are killed on the roads.

Red Jenny said...

A lot of people are killed on the roads, indeed. That is also terrible. I'm pretty anti-car for that reason, among others. But that is irrelevant to this discussion.

There's more to this than the simple number of "one per week". Each of these women was previously "broken", terrorized, beaten, dominated, whatever. It is a fate worse than just death.

The question

Scott said...

Hi RJ!

Yes, thanks for your reply to "anonymous"...there is absolutely nothing mutually exclusive about opposing unsustainable, anti-person transportation infrastructure and trying to transform gendered social organization of power at the same time.

As well, though it is always a risk when posting a single point statistic like this that people will misread it, I think it is reasonable to expect that people will read it in reasonable ways. The most reasonable contextualization for this number is certainly not how many people die in auto accidents each year. Rather, it is (a) as a counterpoint to the increasingly prevalent right-wing ideology of the patriarchal family, which we are told is the solution to all of society's ills...this number is at the very least an indicator that it is no such thing; and, (b) the actual shape of the overall phenomenon of which the point statistic is a single example. Perhaps it was overly optimistic to assume that this point statistic would be read in the context of the women not only being killed but also, as RJ says, "previously 'broken', terrorized, beaten, dominated, whatever," but also lots of women whose situation never quite reaches murder facing all of those things too, and most women facing similar things to some degree or other at some point in their lives. That is the context for which this point statistic is intended to be an indicator.