There are multiple reasons why a couple that are married, or in a common-law relationship, decide to end it. In some cases domestic abuse plays a role. A study recently released by Statistics Canada, provides a snapshot of family violence in Canada. The study was based on the results of the 2014 General Social Survey.
The Family Law Act sets out what might be construed as family violence in British Columbia. In addition to physical abuse, it is possible the abuse can take other forms as well, including economic, mental, emotional and psychological. Under the act, spouses are not the only ones who can be victims. So too can children and other relatives.
According to the study, British Columbia is one of the four provinces that reported the largest declines in the activity. While most would agree that this is a positive thing, the study also uncovered information that might be seen as disconcerting to many. Those who have experienced domestic abuse, and responded to the survey, indicated in many situations they did not report the incident to the authorities. Seventy per cent reported they fell into this group.
Other information worth noting is that men reported being victims of spousal abuse as often as women. That said, the study reveals that women are twice as likely as their male counterparts, to suffer forms of violence considered to be the most severe. Actions that fall into this group include choking, beating, sexual assault and knife or gun-related threats.
Regardless of why a relationship comes to an end, many issues will need to be addressed. These issues can be complicated and when family violence is a contributing factor, additional related matters could arise as well. In these situations it is advisable to work with a family law lawyer who also understands how to navigate domestic violence matters.