In Canada last year, on average, every 2.5 days a woman or girl was killed, according to the inaugural report on the murder of women, which states that the problem should be better understood to reduce the number of murders.
The Canadian Observatory on Suicides for Justice and Responsibility's first annual report, entitled “.CallItFemicide”, was released on Wednesday and responds to the United Nations call for countries to better track gender-based killings of women, said Mirna Dawson, lead author Professor at the University of Guelph.
“It really did indicate how often this happened when we watched it daily,” she said. "Women are still most at risk of men with whom they are close or who they should be able to trust."
The purpose of the report, at least in part, is to recognize that the circumstances and motives associated with the violent death of women are different from those of men, so that the killing of women can be better understood and prevented.
“The context in which women and girls are killed is very different, because they are most often killed by people they know, and this contrasts with men, which are most often killed by friends and strangers,” said Dawson.
“Calling him the way he is, and recognizing the distinctiveness, emphasizes the fact that we need different types of prevention.”
53% killed by intimate partners
The report says that in 2018, 133 incidents killed 148 women and girls, and 140 people were accused of their death. In 12 of the 133 incidents the defendants were not established. In some cases, several defendants are involved.
More than 90 percent of the defendants were men.
Dawson said that in many cases the police investigation is still ongoing, adding that in the coming years, researchers intend to monitor cases through the justice system in order to better understand the factors involved in each one.
The statistics include a van, which resulted in the death of eight women and two men in Toronto last year. The defendant in this case, Alec Minasyan, was charged with 10 cases of first-degree murder and 16 in attempted murder. He will stand trial in February 2020.
The women who died as a result of the van attack are among the 21 percent allegedly killed in 2018 by a stranger. In contrast, according to the report, 53 percent were killed by close partners. Another 13 percent were allegedly killed by other male family members.
This includes the case of Krasimira Peichinovskaya and her 13-year-old daughter Venallia, who were allegedly killed by a partner of the older Peijchinovsky in May 2018. Her 15-year-old son Roy was also killed in the incident, but was not included in the statistics.
"We must challenge all myths"
The study states that numbers and demographic information were taken from death reports. Dawson said that information from the media was more accessible and at least as accurate as information from official sources. But the report notes that in the coming years, when these cases go through the justice system, researchers will look at court records to track updates.
Dawson said some statistics are disproportionately represented in statistics. For example, the report indicates that indigenous women make up only about five percent of the population, but 36 percent of women and girls killed as a result of violence. Thirty-four percent of women and girls were killed in rural areas, where only 16 percent of the population lives, the report says.
Understanding these issues is key to preventing further killings of women, said Julie Lalonde, women's rights advocate and public educator.
For example, she noted that funding for sexual abuse centers and women's shelters is distributed per capita in Ontario, which puts women in sparsely populated areas at an even greater disadvantage.
“The argument is that there is less need (in rural areas). Perhaps in terms of quantity, but you have a more complex need for rural communities where more resources are required because you have to travel long distances. transit for people to leave, "said Lalonde.
She said that statistics such as those in the report also help to reduce misconceptions about violence against women, such as the idea that abusive women should just go.
“We are not talking about such things as criminal prosecution or the fact that most women are killed after leaving or claiming that they are going to leave the partner,” she said. "We must challenge all the myths and stereotypes that tell women that they are guilty."