Women Are Just as Abusive as Men, Right?

While some men do experience violence within an intimate relationship, the vast majority of victims are women.

According to Statistics Canada’s 2009 report, Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile...

  • In 2007, there were nearly 40,200 incidents of spousal violence reported to the police: 83% of victims were female; 17% of victims were male. (pg 25)
  • Overall, the police-reported rate of spousal violence was nearly 5 times higher for female victims compared to male victims. (pg 25)


Overall, women are more likely to be victims of more severe forms of violence than men. In the Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile 2005 report, Statistics Canada showed that women and men experience very different types of spousal violence and that the impact of the violence is more serious for women than men (page 13). For instance, the data showed that:

  • female victims of spousal violence were more than twice as likely to be injured as male victims.
  • women were three times more likely to fear for their life, and twice as likely to be the targets of more than 10 violent episodes.
  • women were three times more likely to take time off from their everyday activities because of the violence; and
  • women were sexually assaulted in intimate relationships, whereas men were not.


Women who experienced violence during a relationship stated that the violence increased in severity or frequency after separation, whereas men did not experience this.

These data support the notion that spousal violence against women is often an issue of power and control; when the woman leaves the relationship, the man’s control over his partner is threatened and as a result the violence escalates against the woman (pg 16).

The same report showed that for men the most serious violence they experienced was being pushed, shoved, or slapped (34%) and being kicked, bit, or hit with something (34%).

A copy of these reports is available online:

2005 2006 2007 2008 2009


The Domestic Violence Death Review Committee Annual Report to the Chief Coroner, 2005 reported that, of the 100 cases they examined between 2002 to 2005, females were victims in 93% of the cases and males were victims in 7% of these cases. Males perpetrated the violence in 94% of cases, versus 6% for females. They state that “domestic violence fatalities are not gender-neutral events.”