Percentage of women who self-reported spousal violence in their current relationships within the past 12 months, by family type, Canada, 1999, 2004 and 2009

Excludes data from the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut.
*A blended family contains children of both spouses (married or common-law) from one or more previous unions or one or more children from the current union and one or more children from previous unions. Includes legally married, common-law, and same-sex spouses.

Source: CICH graphic created using data adapted from Statistics Canada, General Social Survey, 1999, 2004 and 2009. -accessed July 24, 2017.

In 2009, 1.3% of women in ‘intact’ couple families with children – that is a couple with biological children –  reported that they had been victims of spousal violence in that relationship in the last 12 months.

That was the case in 3.1% of blended families* and in 1.1% in couples without children.


Family violence is a serious public health issue. It can cause a range of short-term or long-term health problems, and can even result in death. The impacts of family violence can be physical, mental, cognitive and behavioural. If a child lives with abuse or is exposed to violence in the home, the effects on health can last a lifetime. Infants and young children suffer many effects of family violence – injury, problems with parent-child bonding, and mental health problems including anxiety, behavioural problems, problems at school and problems with friends.1

1Public Health Agency of Canada. The Effects of Domestic Violence on Children – Where Does it Hurt? 2007. -accessed July 24, 2017.

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