Intimate Partner Violence

PDF Version

March 2019

Research and Statistics Division

This fact sheet is based on two research publications from the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics (CCJS) published in 2015 and 2018Footnote 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 likely an under-representation of the true scope of the problem.

Over one-quarter of police-reported violent crime concern IPV

In 2016, over 93,000 Canadians reported being victims of IPV to the police.

Most victims of IPV cases are women

In 2016, 79% of intimate partner violence victims were women, according to police-reported information.

Young female adults are most at risk of being victims of intimate partner homicide

From 2006 to 2016, the risk of intimate partner homicide was highest for young female adults between the ages of 25 to 29 years (rate of 7.9 per 1 million population).

IPV cases are common in dating relationships

In 2016, dating relationships comprised 55% 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 per million population

The rate of intimate partner homicide between 2015 and 2016 decreased by 6%. While men are more likely to be victims of homicide in general (they are 75% of all homicide victims), women are more likely to be victims of IPV. In 2016, 58% of victims of family-related homicide were girls or women. The rate of female victims of intimate partner homicide stood at 3.7 per million population in 2016. This rate is almost four times higher than for male victims of IPV (rate of 1.0 per million population). In 2016, more homicides were committed by current or former common law partners (38%) than by current or former spouses (32%)Footnote 2.

Common assault most frequent for IPV cases

In 2015, the most frequent IPV caseFootnote 3 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, where the median time is of 151 days to complete.

A 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.

Most common sentences are non-custodial

From 2005/2006 to 2010/2011, probation was the most frequent 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 are usually under 6 months

From 2005/2006 to 2010/2011, nearly one-third (31%) of IPV convictions resulted in custodial sentences. In a majority of cases (85%), the average sentence for an IPV case where a custodial sentence was imposed was six months or less.

Men accused of IPV are 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 women convicted of IPV (14%).