Canada: Survey Finds Women Fear Shame and Financial Hardship if They Report Domestic Violence
Wednesday, May 14, 2014 3:20 PM

Nearly two-thirds of Canadian women would be reluctant to report domestic abuse because they fear public and family shame or because they fear the financial, legal and family consequences of reporting violence. These findings were included in a recent Canadian Women's Foundation Study that also reported 1 in 4 Canandians have tried to help a friend leave an abusive partner. Study respondents indicated that they were more likely to seek out others to assist with verbal or emotional abuse, but would be more likely deal with physical or sexual abuse on their own.

A majority of Canadians said that they would report physical or sexual abuse to law enforcement first, if they chose to report. However, many raised concerns that doctors, family, friends and/or the police would not believe their stories of violence. Canadian Women's Foundation Director of Violence Prevention, Anuradha Dugal, stated, "Living in a culture where speaking out about abuse is still taboo and where many blame the victim leads to many women believing that the abuse is their fault. Women are therefore less likely to come forward to report the assault or to seek assistance to escape the abuse." The Canadian Women's Foundation study offered advice to those couseling women living with domestic violence.

Compiled from: 1 in 4 Canadians have tried to help a friend leave an abusive partner, Canada NewsWire (April 30, 2014).