Discourse Media database supports #MeToo with stats on reported violence against women across Canada

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      Violence against women reported to police in Vancouver is slightly below the national average.

      That’s according to a new statistical database that Vancouver-based Discourse Media shared with the public yesterday (January 11).

      In the city of Vancouver in 2015, the rate of violence against women was 1,024 cases per 100,000 people, according to the database. Meanwhile, the national average was 1,114.

      A similarly small gap that’s kept Vancouver just below the national average is present in the statistics for each year going back to 2009.

      Here are the 2015 rates of reported violence against women for other cities in the region:

      • Burnaby: 594
      • Richmond: 414
      • New Westminster: 1,009
      • Surrey: 1,034
      • Langley: 920
      • Coquitlam: 499
      • Maple Ridge: 1,081
      • Abbotsford: 805

      And for a few cities from across the province:

      • Whistler: 1,597
      • Victoria: 1,531
      • Nanaimo: 956
      • Kelowna: 996
      • Kamloops: 770
      • Dawson Creek: 2,304

      The entire database covers more than 600 jurisdictions across Canada. The information comes from Statistics Canada and was supplied to Discourse Media at the outlet’s request for a custom dataset.

      It’s been released at a time when the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement is beginning to hold men more accountable for sexual assault, rape, and inappropriate conduct.

      A database published by Discourse Media tracks police-reported violence against women across Canada.
      Discourse Media

      An article by Discourse Media’s Emma Jones that accompanies the data’s release notes that it has deficiencies. For example, it’s repeatedly emphasized that a majority of violent crimes against women are not reported to police. The statistics very likely under-estimate the scale of the problem, perhaps significantly.

      “It’s important to know that police-reported data, especially about violence against women, is a controversial unit of measure,” the article reads. “Consuming the data responsibly means being aware of its limitations.

      “Jane Stinson, the principal investigator and director of the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women’s FemNorthNet project, says it can be challenging to know how to interpret the data,” it continues. “For communities where the rates of police-reported violence against women change dramatically between years, Stinson wonders, ‘is that due to a change in policing [or] a change in violent behaviour?’”

      A searchable database plus the entire dataset itself is available at DiscourseMedia.org.

      "Share your stories using the hashtag #cdnviolencedata and let’s talk," Jones' article suggests.

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