Intimate Partner Violence

PDF Version

May 2017

Research and Statistics Division

This fact sheet is based on two research publications from the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics (CCJS).Footnote 1  In the 2015 Juristat, CCJS linked police-reported data from the Uniform Crime Reporting Survey to court data from the Adult Criminal Court Survey to identify intimate partner violence (IPV) cases and their outcomes. All figures noted in this JustFacts are based on police-reported information and therefore are an under-representation.

Over one-quarter of all victims of police-reported violent crime are victims of intimate partner violence

In 2015, over 92,000 Canadians were victims of police-reported IPV.

Most victims of IPV cases are women

In 2015, 79% of intimate partner violence victims were women, according to police-reported information.

Young female adults most at risk of experiencing intimate partner homicide

From 2005 to 2015, risk of intimate partner homicide were highest for young female adults between the ages of 25 to 29 years (rate of 8.2 per 1 million population).

IPV cases more common in dating relationships than in spousal relationships

In 2015, dating relationships comprised 54% of police-reported IPV cases, while spousal relationships (current or former married or common-law spouses) comprised 44% of police-reported IPV cases.

Rate of intimate partner homicide decreasing

The rate of intimate partner homicide between 2014 and 2015 decreased 6%. The rate of female victims of intimate partner homicide stood at 4.5 per million population in 2015. This rate is 5 times higher than for males (rate of 0.9 per million population). In that same year, spousal homicides between marriedFootnote 2 spouses were lower than common-law spousesFootnote 3: 24% were committed by a married spouse while 52% were committed by a common-law spouse.

Common assault most frequent for IPV cases

In 2015, the most frequent IPV caseFootnote 4 was common assault (level 1), which represented 63% of all IPV cases. Major assault represented 14% of IPV cases.

It takes about 4 months to complete an IPV case in adult criminal court

From 2005/2006 to 2010/2011, the median time to complete a case in adult criminal court was 124 days for IPV cases. This is less time than for non-IPV violent cases, which the median time is of 151 days to complete.

Majority of IPV court cases result in conviction

From 2005/2006 to 2010/2011, 60% of IPV court cases resulted in a conviction. This is similar to non-IPV violent court cases over the same period in which guilty verdicts were reached in 64% of cases.

One-third of IPV sentences were custodial

From 2005/2006 to 2010/2011, nearly one-third (31%) of IPV convictions resulted in custodial sentences. However, probation was the most frequent serious sentence imposed (49%) with the most common length of time for probation being between six months to a year (69% of all probation cases).

Custodial sentences usually under 6 months

From 2005/2006 to 2010/2011, the average sentence given in the majority of IPV cases where a custodial sentence was imposed was six months or less (85%).

Males accused of IPV twice as likely to receive custodial sentences

From 2005/2006 to 2010/2011, men convicted of IPV were more likely to receive a custodial sentence (33%) compared to females convicted of IPV (14%).