About woman abuse

Woman abuse is the intentional use of tactics that give a person power and control over a woman by creating fear and/or dependency.

Warning signs

Tactics may include:

  • physical abuse – any contact intended to cause physical suffering or bodily harm
  • sexual abuse – any situation in which an individual is forced to participate in unwanted, unsafe or degrading sexual activity
  • emotional, psychological abuse – destroying an individual’s feelings of independence or self-worth
  • financial/economic abuse – attempts by another to control an individual’s finances, withhold basic needs, steal or prevent her from working.

Woman abuse happens in various forms between people who know, depend on, and have deep emotional ties to one another.

Woman abuse isn’t an illness, a disorder or an addiction. It’s a social problem that transcends all class, cultural and ethnic boundaries. And it’s a crime.

Statistics: Violence Against Women

Violence against women is a prevalent and well-documented social problem in Canada and around the world. The statistics provided below are categorized according to the pervasiveness of woman abuse in our society by: age (younger women 18-24) or women over 65, aboriginal women, immigrant or refugee women, women who are living with disabilities, abuse during pregnancy, abuse faced by those marginalized by their sexual orientation and gender identity, and the effects on children who witness abuse in the home.

Overall Statistics

Consider these statistics on Canadian women who reported on violence in a current or previous spousal relationship in the past five years (n = 653,000) (see note 1):

  • 81% reported having been pushed, shoved or grabbed;
  • 61% were threatened to be hit;
  • 44% reported having something thrown at them;
  • 38% were beaten or choked;
  • 36% were slapped;
  • 27% were kicked, hit or bit; and
  • 16% were sexually assaulted (see note 2)


  1. The number 653,000 represents 7% of Canadian women aged 15 and older who experienced and reported spousal violence by a current or previous partner in the past 5 years. Source: Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics and the 2004 General Social Survey, p. 8.
  2. Figures do not add to 100% due to multiple responses. Source: Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics and the 2004 General Social Survey, p. 28.

For more statistics on Violence Against Women, please link to the PCAWA (Peel Committee Against Women Abuse). http://www.pcawa.org/