Dec. 6 is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. A new survey by Statistics Canada finds thirty per cent of all women aged 15 and older — some 4.7 million — were victims of sexual assault outside an intimate relationships at least once since the age of 15. (Black Press Media File)

New survey finds 4.7 million women over 15 were victims of sexual assault in Canada

Some 1.2 million men (eight per cent) report having been sexually assaulted since age 15

Thirty per cent of all women aged 15 and older — some 4.7 million — were victims of sexual assault outside an intimate relationships at least once since the age of 15.

This is one of the figures appearing in a new report from Statistics Canada into gender-based violence and unwanted sexual behaviour in Canada. The report details initial findings of a 2018 survey.

The report defines gender-based violence as violence committed against someone based on their gender identity, gender expression or perceived gender and encompasses a broad range of behaviours ranging from those which do not qualify necessarily as criminal (like unwanted sexual attention in public) to those that qualify as criminal acts (like physical and sexual assault).

RELATED: #MeToo at work: B.C. women share horrifyingly common sexual assaults

The findings appear on the eve of the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women 2019 in Canada and within the larger context of the #MeToo movement.

Almost 40 per cent of women and 35 per cent of men 15 years and older — some 11 million Canadians — reported experiencing at least one physical or sexual assault since age 15, with three out of 10 women having reported a sexual assault. By comparison, 1.2 million men (eight per cent) report having been sexually assaulted since age 15.

Looking at physical assaults, one-third of men (33 per cent) and just over one-quarter of women (26 per cent) told the survey that they have experienced at least one physical assault since age 15.

RELATED: Victoria vigil to commemorate 30th anniversary of l’Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal massacre

The survey also finds that the “vast majority” of incidents of violent crime did not come to the attention of police. Five per cent of women said that the most serious incident of sexual assault they experienced came to the attention of police either from themselves or otherwise. Meanwhile, 26 per cent of women and 33 per cent men who were physically assaulted said police found out about the most serious incident.

Women were also more likely to experience unwanted sexual behaviour in public places, at work and online, with the proviso that the difference in online harassment was less stark.

Other factors also shaped the level of unwanted sexual behaviour. Young women aged 15 to 24 were three times as likely to experience unwanted sexual behaviour than older women, whereas women belonging to a sexual minority were 2.8 times as likely than women outside that category.

Accounting for demographic factors, sexual orientation was also the largest risk factor for men, with men belonging to a sexual minority four times as likely to experience unwanted sexual behaviour in public than heterosexual men.


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vancouver Island-based Wilson’s Transportation has expanded to fill some of the routes left unserviced by Greyhound as of Nov. 1, 2018. (Black Press files)
B.C. bus companies say they need help to survive COVID-19

Like airlines, motor coaches have lost most of their revenue

RCMP are trying to determine why a woman fled the scene of an accident in Sooke. (File - Black Press Media)
Sooke RCMP search for driver who fled crash site

Police want to know why woman left

Patrol officers from VicPD’s Esquimalt division responded to a call about hateful graffiti in Macaulay Park Wednesday evening. (Black Press Media file photo)
Anti-Semitic, hate-based graffiti found in Esquimalt park

Police seek suspects after fresh hate-based graffiti found Wednesday evening

The Royal Canadian Legion kicked off its annual poppy drive in Sooke with legion president Richard Steele (left), Mayor Maja Tait, T’Sou-ke Nation Chief Gordie Planes and poppy fund chair Al Stuart in attendance. (Kevin Laird/News Staff)
Sooke Legion credits restaurant, volunteers for keeping doors open through pandemic

‘We’re not making a lot of money, but we’re not losing a lot either,’ says legion president

Sooke’s Paul Larouche gold snipes along Sooke River, a process in which he uses a mask and snorkel to find pieces of gold. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Hitting the jackpot: Sooke man finds niche audience by gold-panning on YouTube

Paul Larouche, 29, with over 215,000 subscribers, opens up about his journey

A woman wears a face mask and plastic gloves while browsing books as a sticker on the floor indicates a one-way direction of travel between shelves of books at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch, after it and four other branches reopened with limited services, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
B.C. reports 234 new COVID cases, 1 death of senior who had attended small birthday party

Roughly 5,700 people are isolating due to being exposed to a confirmed case

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Allentown, Pa. on Oct. 26. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
POLL: How closely are you following the U.S. presidential election?

It may feel like it’s been going on forever but the U.S.… Continue reading

A deer was spotted in October 2020 in Prince Rupert, B.C., with a bright pink yoga ball stuck in its antlers. (Kayla Vickers/Chronicles Of Hammy The Deer Official Page)
Hammy 2.0? Prince Rupert deer spotted with bright pink yoga ball stuck in antlers

The BC Conservation Officer Service is aware of the deer roaming around the city

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna Mountie hit with 2nd lawsuit in 2 months for alleged assault

Const. Julius Prommer is accused of breaking a woman’s knee during while responding to a noise complaint

Hirdeypal Batth, 24, has been charged with sexual assault and forcible confinement in relation to an incident in August 2020. (VPD handout)
Man, 24, charged with sex assault after allegedly posing as Uber driver in Vancouver

Investigators believe there could be more victims outside of the Vancouver area

Pilot Kevin Maher participated in a flyover of a ceremony at the Cobble Hill cenotaph on Oct. 22 in a 1940 North American (Noorduyn) Harvard aircraft. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Cobble Hill remembers lost military members with ceremony, flyover

Annual event commemorates those who died in non-combat roles

Adam Ireton holds his son Weston, along with Kristen and Beckett as they celebrate Weston's last day of treatment for lukemia. (Kristen Ireton photo)
799 days: ‘Super’ Weston defeats cancer

‘Weston is disease-free now, so we will be going into a period of checkups and things until he’s 18’

B.C. Premier John Horgan and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee arrive for annual Cascadia conference in Vancouver, Oct. 10, 2018. They have agreed to coordinate the permanent switch to daylight saving time. (B.C. government)
B.C. still awaiting U.S. approval to eliminate daylight saving time

Clocks going back one hour Nov. 1 in Washington too

Most Read