Hi There, I'm Mel

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It has been a little over a year since I found myself alone, lost, scared. More terrified than I ever felt with my Husband's hands grasped around my throat. Now I am learning that survival means growth, accepting that it was not my fault, and understanding that I am far from alone in this journey. 

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

The Numbers Behind the Stories

Yesterday I read something. There were 94,000 reported violent crimes against family members in Canada in 2011, 50% were spouses, 18% children.  This accounted for 26% of all police investigated crimes that year. The statistical Profile from Stats Canada can be read here. 

I also learned that the rate of women assaulted by a current intimate partner is 542 per 100,000 Canadians. 
The GSS also found that police were less likely to find out about spousal violence against women in 2009 than in 2004. The percentage of female victims indicating that the incident was reported to police, either by themselves or someone else, dropped from 36% to 30%.Reporting to police was more likely when women had sustained an injury, when they feared for their lives, or when the abuse had gone on for some time.  (GSS, Violence against women, 2011)
I waited almost six years to tell anyone, looking back I never thought I could call the police, I couldn't have done that to him. Even after I sat sprawled out on the floor, covered in bruises, my blood and his spit I don't think I ever could have picked up the phone. 

The reports all go on to say the same thing. Women. Young women are more likely to be assaulted by their significant other. Violence affects entire families. Daters are more likely than Married people to experience violence and Family related Homicides occur and account for 6 percent of solved murders. 

The conclusions I can draw are simple domestic violence happens, it can happen to anyone, it doesn't get better and people die. When I read these articles I thought a lot about my husbands hands around my throat, his raspy voice telling me that I was going to die that night. I don't know if he would have been able to do it, if his threats were backed by intent. I do know that if I had stayed there is a real possibility I could have been like one of the 419 Canadians in 2011 who died at the hands of someone they loved. 

1. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/130625/dq130625b-eng.htm
2. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/081009/dq081009b-eng.htm