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

Metchosin, Colwood hit with morning power outage

Monday morning outage impacts more than 2,600 BC Hydro customers

‘Someone knows something’: a look into Vancouver Island missing persons with interactive map

There are more than three dozen people listed as missing throughout Vancouver Island

Colwood library reopens for public use July 18

Limited services offered Monday through Saturday

Sooke Meals on Wheels seeks volunteers to replace critical roles

Annual general meeting, volunteer appreciation dinner is July 26

Habitat for Humanity launches Victoria family challenge fundraising event

The Road To Home fundraiser set to be an activity-filled day

‘It’s really frustrating’: B.C. Indigenous groups share impact of border closures

The closures have resulted in disputes between Indigenous groups and local businesses

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Washington’s NFL team drops ‘Redskins’ name after 87 years

The franchise was given the name back in 1933, when it was still in Boston

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Shellfish industry get funds to clean up at Island sites and beyond

Businesses can apply to cover half of costs to clean up so-called ‘ghost gear’

Most Read