Revealing domestic homicide study

More than half of Canadians killed through domestic violence in recent years were Indigenous, immigrants or refugees, lived in rural, remote or Northern areas, or were children, according to a first-ever report led by a U of G researcher.

The report by sociology and anthropology professor Myrna Dawson found that 476 people in Canada were killed through domestic violence between 2010 and 2015. Of those, 76 per cent were female and at least 53 per cent represented one of the vulnerable populations mentioned above.

The majority of victims were in a current intimate relationship with the accused (61 per cent) and 26 per cent were separated or estranged.

Vulnerable populations are more at risk due to issues such as oppression, discrimination and lack of access to resources, says Dawson, director of the Centre for the Study of Social and Legal Response to Violence and holder of the Canada Research Chair in Public Policy in Criminal Justice.

“We need to learn more about the nuanced needs of these groups if we want to manage risk and promote safety planning. We need to do so by working with them.”