Foreword

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For the past three decades, Federal-Provincial-Territorial (FPT) Ministers responsible for the Status of Women have shared a common vision to end violence against women in all its forms. Violence against women in Canada is a serious, pervasive problem that crosses every social boundary and affects communities across the country. It remains a significant barrier to women's equality and has devastating impacts on the lives of women, children, families and Canadian society as a whole.

This report marks the third time that the FPT Status of Women Forum has worked with Statistics Canada to add to the body of evidence on gender-based violence. Assessing Violence Against Women: A Statistical Profile was released in 2002 and was followed by Measuring Violence Against Women: Statistical Trends 2006. The 2006 report expanded the analysis into new areas, presenting information on Aboriginal women and women living in Canada's territories. The current report maintains this important focus and also includes information on dating violence, violence against girls and violence that occurs outside of the intimate partner/family context. It also shows trends over time and provides data at national, provincial/territorial, and census metropolitan area levels. A study on the economic impacts of one form of violence against women, spousal violence, is also presented.

We acknowledge that there is more to learn to provide a complete picture of violence against women and girls. For example, there are new and emerging issues such as cyber-violence and areas where data gaps continue to exist, such as trafficking in persons, as well as an increasing emphasis on building evidence about promising prevention and intervention practices. Ongoing research and analysis will further our understanding of the complex, gendered dimensions of violence in all its forms and how women's experiences of violence intersect with other aspects of their lives.

This report was designed to reach a wide audience. It is intended to support policy and program development and decision making for governments, non-governmental organizations, service providers, academics, researchers and all others working to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls. We are confident that as this body of knowledge continues to advance, it will promote prevention efforts and enhance responses to women and girls who experience violence in our communities.

FPT Senior Officials responsible for the Status of Women

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