U of G-Based ‘Observatory’ to Focus on Violence Against Women

Why do men kill women? Tracking cases of femicide to understand its causes and consequences is the goal of a new University of Guelph project that is the first of its kind in Canada.

On average, one woman or girl is killed every other day in Canada.

U of G sociology professor Myrna Dawson says entrenched attitudes, beliefs and stereotypes underpin violence against women and girls.

Although local agencies and organizations have long monitored these crimes, Canada has lacked a system for monitoring femicide rates and responses across the country, Dawson says.

Through U of G’s Centre for the Study of Social and Legal Responses to Violence, which she heads, Dawson started the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability.

Researchers will track femicide cases, share research, and analyze media reports and court cases to gauge societal messages and norms about femicide.