PEI

Family violence rate on P.E.I. improving

Prince Edward Island has the second lowest rate of family violence in Canada, according to a new report from Statistics Canada.

Domestic violence a ‘private crime,’ advocate cautions

Prince Edward Island has the second lowest rate of family violence in Canada, according to a new report from Statistics Canada.

Ann Sherman, chair of the Premier's Action Committee on Family Violence Prevention, was shocked by the number of assaults against children. (Government of P.E.I.)

The domestic violence rate on the Island was closer to the national average a few years ago, ranking fourth highest in 2008 and fourth lowest in 2009. It has been second lowest since 2010.

While the situation is improving, some of the numbers in the latest report concern Ann Sherman, the new chair of the Premier's Action Committee on Family Violence Prevention.

The report says P.E.I.'s rate of violence against children under 17, with 71 reported cases, is low relative to the rest Canada, but Sherman finds that number quite high.

“I think it's a concern. Actually I was quite shocked that there were 71 incidents that were reported to police. We know there's probably a heck of a lot that are not reported,” she said.

“Family violence is one of those crimes that happens behind closed doors and behind drawn curtains. It's a private crime. It only gets known by the communities at large when it becomes quite extreme.”

Sherman believes the province is doing a good job raising awareness raising around spousal abuse, and that’s one reason overall numbers are dropping, but she thinks more needs to be done to help children facing violence and elder abuse.

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