|The comments by Eeva Sodhi contain excerpts from comparable studies and
sources that differ widely in quality from the deplorable quality of the information
produced by Statistics Canada in their report.
This page contains the third part
of comments provided by Eeva Sodhi in three parts.
Parts of Critique
- Child Abuse and Murder
- Spousal Violence
- Spousal Homicide and Research
Family Violence in Canada 2000 An Alternative Approach, Part. 3
Spousal Homicide and Research
What the statistics continuously ignore is that a substantial number of homicides
remains unsolved. Almost all of the unsolved cases have male victims.
A persistent drop in violent crime rates is all but ignored as the media and
politicians respond to the horror of the individual case. Especially tough measures in
response to violence against women and children overlook that there is also a serious
problem of violence, mostly by men but also by women, against male victims. Statistics
over a long period of time have, for example, indicated that there are twice as many male
murder victims. (Alan Gold, Criminal Lawyers Association Newsletter, Volume 18,
Number 6, December 1997)
The other chapters follow the same principle
of personal innuendoes and speculations.
The captions for tables and figures are revealing of the leading bias in the publication.
Just to give you two examples of the trend: P. 12, figure 2.2: Women more
likely than men to experience spousal violence in
most provinces, past five years, rather than: Spousal violence rates in the
provinces, past five years The sex-specific headings are standard whenever women
are perceived to be the victims. 
the heading for table 2.13 on p. 24 is: Incident clearance status
sex of victims in police reported spousal violence, 1999, rather than:
Police were more likely to lay charges when the victim was female This anomaly
is consistent throughout the publication. However, in the final analysis, this report is
almost revolutionary. Another obvious shortcoming is the subjectivity of self-
ResearchersWhat can Statistics Canada do in future to remedy the situation? First
it is responsible for the selection of valid research material. A cursory look at the
titles on the list of research references to this document, as well as to its previous
editions, which are also found on the list of references, rely entirely on feminist
literature. The only exception is the British Crime Survey by Catriona Mirrlees-Black,
which I assume to be the one published as the Home Office Research Study 191. That
a publication with such biased sources as the FVC is allowed to be distributed, unchecked
and unopposed, as a bona fide research report, financed by the Canadian taxpayer, is a
national shame. It is used as a justification for the most horrendous excesses in the
family law. Situation in the family courts is such that a legal counsel usually tells his
male client: forget about litigation, you are most likely going to lose anyway
because of your biology, plead guilty and save some money for a holiday. Only a very
na´ve man dares to defend himself.
Some examples of the clear advocacy comments by
The above reference to murder-suicide is a glaring example of feminist bias. Yet, not
only one but two works by this research team are on the list of references. Statistics
Canada has been an agent in propagating the perception that suicide, or murder-suicide,
when committed by a man is to be condemned as the final act of trying to exercise power
over his family. However, when a woman is the perpetrator, it is seen what it is: an act
of despair beyond relief other than death. For example, see the contrast in
reporting the two recent incidents in Ontario: The Luft and Killinger-Johnson cases.
Large-scale survey data have played an important role in sensitizing the media,
government officials, and members of the general public to the shocking extent of
woman abuse in intimate, heterosexual relationships. (DeKeseredy)
Men perpetrate familicidal massacres, killing spouse and children together, women
do not. Men commonly hunt down and kill wives who have left them; women hardly
ever behave similarly. Men kill wives as part of planned murder-suicides;
analogous acts by women are almost unheard of (Dobash et al., 1992) [This also quoted
The following (and preceding) examples, and others similar to them, are to be found
across the publications issued and/or distributed by the National Clearinghouse on Family
Violence (Health Canada). These publications in turn rely heavily on data provided by
Children exposed to woman abuse see, hear, and are aware of violence
against their mother by their father or their mother's partner. (Jaffe)
Social scientists have been remarkably unsuccessful in understanding why so
many men have either removed themselves or allowed themselves to be excluded
from their childrens lives, despite the adverse effects which such absence has on
child development (Peters)
One innovative author even used the dreaded cancer as a scare
study showed that battering was the most common way North American women
were injured. More women visited the emergency room for battering than for auto accidents,
rapes, and muggings combined.
A researcher of a document that begins with, or includes, the above type of
material should be automatically disqualified. There is absolutely no room for
advocacy in serious
scientific research. Code of Professional Ethics of the Canadian Sociology and
Anthropology Association states: "The researcher should not falsify or
his or her findings or omit data which might significantly alter conclusions."
One can promote false beliefs by the selective omission of information without ever
literally telling a falsehood. This same standard of professional ethics should apply to
the researchers and writers at Statistics Canada as well.
report revealed that domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to
women ages 15-44, more common than muggings, car accidents and cancer deaths
- U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice
Statistics "Spouse Murder Defendants in Large Urban Counties"
(NCJ-153256) In a sample of homicide cases in 75 of the nation's most populous counties,
state court judges or juries during 1988 acquitted 6% of the husband defendants, compared
to 31% of the wife defendants. Jury trials ended in acquittal for 27% of wives, but none
of the husbands.
Considering the number of the unsolved cases,
and considering that murders committed by a contract killer would be most likely to remain
unsolved, the numbers of women and men killing their spouses also remain unknown.
Three percent of the husbands and 6% of
the wives were charged with contract killings.
Thirty percent of the wives and 13% of the
husbands either were not prosecuted or were found not guilty after being tried.
- U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice
Statistics: Homicide Trends in the U.S. Clearances. 69% were cleared in 1998; 63%
in 1993; 79% in 1976 (Source: FBI Uniform Crime Reports, Crime in the United States
Considering the high number of unsolved cases
and womens propensity to use proxies, we may never know the real gender division.
Males were 3.2 times more likely to be murdered than females.
Though the report says that wives, more often
than husbands, were acting in self defence there is no corroborative evidence to support
- NCJ 143498 Murder in Families 12pp,
7/94, 14 tables This BJS Special Report, a survey of murder cases disposed in 1988 in the
courts of large urban counties, found that 16% of murder victims were members of the
defendant's family: 6.5% were killed by their spouses, 3.5% by their parents, 1.9% by
their own children, 1.5% by their siblings, and 2.6% by other relatives.
Women were 45%
of the victims in murders involving family members but 18% of victims in other murders
[i.e. most victims of domestic homicides are not female]. Among family murder defendants,
35% were female versus 7% among non-family defendants. Women were over half of the
defendants (55%) in only one category of family murder: parents killing their
- Correctional Service of Canada. Women
Convicted of Homicide Serving a Federal Sentence.
|Note: For quite a few hours in
formatting these pages I've been reading the atrocious twisting of facts and reality that
Eeva Sodhi illustrates so excellently, and I can't resist any longer. (B. t. w.: The
victims mentioned in the excerpts from the report shown here appear to have been all men,
or boys). There are many interesting turns of speech in the cited report by
Correction Services Canada, but there were two that are especially intriguing.
The women offenders involved in the homicides were responsible for killing the
victims in over half of the cases (63.3%). [in the section "Perpetrators of the
Just aside from the fact that it would be more precise (in relation to 63.3%) to
state "slightly less than two thirds of the offenders," let's not forget that
all of the women studied were convicted of murder. That is because all of them were
responsible for killing their victims. How can it be possible that some of the women
who languish in Canadian federal prisons are in reality innocent, that some of them
were not responsible for the crimes that they committed? Maybe, just maybe, but more
than a third of them? What in the world can possibly be wrong with our judges?
However, the following statement in the report boggles the mind:
Out of 181 women serving a federal sentence for homicide (December 1996), 91
women were incarcerated. [in opening chapter]
Homicide is a federal offence, but it appears there are some women who committed
homicide and received a sentence for a lesser crime. That stands to reason, because
women who murder are routinely convicted of only manslaughter and receive no more than a
conditional sentence of two-years-less-one-day. That keeps them out of prison.
Nevertheless, there is still the circumstance that the number of these women in federal
prisons includes some who were "temporarily detained for parole
violations." Those women should have know better! We all know that women
can generally murder with impunity, but they've got to learn that they should never, ever
tick off the judges. Violating parole does it every time, even though judges
routinely forgive women for killing someone. However, that is not the least of
it. How does one "serve" a prison sentence when not incarcerated?
Contract killer was used in 4% of the known
cases. The use of a contract killer was more frequent in spousal homicides
than in other typologies.
History of abuse and conflict with the victim:
An attempt was made in this study to determine if there had been a history of abuse
or conflict between the offender and the victim prior to the homicide. Of the 175 cases
where information was available, 44% of the offenders had experienced
some sort of
prior conflict with their victim while 55.4% had not ...
Victims activity at the time the homicide
occurred: ... overall, it would appear that most victims (69.4%)
behaving aggressively towards the victim [sic, should be "perpetrator"]
at the time of the homicide. These victims were lying down, sitting down, sitting in the
car, sleeping, or passed out when the homicide occurred....
Nine percent of the women
committed homicide as an act of self-defense. These homicides occurred because the
offender, working as a prostitute, had to protect herself against assault or
unwanted sexual advances perpetrated by a customer. Spousal homicides are included in this
category, but only when the spouse is attacking the offender at the time when the homicide
*That is a baffling comment. One cannot kill in
self-defence unless one is being attacked or held captive. The number of spousal murder
cases in this category is not specified. Once more the real statistics about women who
perpetrate intimate homicide as an act of self defence is hidden behind the general
statistic, which shows that most homicidal acts of self defence were committed while
engaged in the sex trade.
The wording some sort of prior
conflict is revealing. It does not specify the nature of conflict nor who was
responsible for the conflict. As all humans experience some sort of conflict
with those that they interact with on daily basis, that statement can hardly be considered
to be of any value. The editorial comments by the writers of the Family Violence in
Canada all fall into the same category.
- On a personal note re P.E.I. statistics: While I was in
Charlottetown in the early seventies, a psychologist established her
practice there with the explicit goal of counseling abused women. She found
that there were no takers. She then began a media blitz claiming that though
many farm women were not aware of it, they were being abused. I did see a
lot of women who were working hard alongside their husbands. Furthermore,
one can only wonder how you can be abused without knowing it, unless, of
course, one reads the handbooks on training social workers in feminist
approach to conjugal violence, which tell that women have to be taught to
view violence as a social, rather than personal, phenomenon. Judging by the
statistics, she must have been quite successful in her efforts to convince
- Michelle Carrado, et al. Aggression in
British Heterosexual Relationships: Of 285 men and women reporting sustained
victimization and 191 reporting inflicting victimization across all relationships, 127
reported having been both a victim and a perpetrator, although this does not necessarily
mean that sustained and inflicted victimization occurred in the same relationship.
- Bill Luft, profile: chronically unemployed,
immigrant, biological father of three children, step-father to one. Lived in his
parents home while parents slept in a trailer parked in the driveway. Parents were
contemplating selling the house. Wife left him, had a child by another man, and returned
back, had another child by Luft. This infant had spina bifida. Luft was known to suffer
from bouts of depression. He stabbed his wife to death, then shot his children and
himself. Contrary to media reports, there was no record of prior violence.
A typical media report:
Suzanne Killinger-Johnson MD and a wealthy
psychotherapist. She jumped on the tracks in front of a subway train cradling her
infant son who was killed by the impact, she herself survived for several days. She
reportedly was distraught with the prospect of returning back to work and finding a
suitable caregiver to her son.
Every year, two or three men do what Bill
Noreen Stuckless, a research scientist at
Women's College Hospital and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, is convinced that
"if vengeance is a man's motivation, if he feels he should be able to control his
wife, if he's stalked her or repeatedly threatened to kill her, if police have been
called, he should be locked up.
"When such a man is bent on getting back at
his wife for daring to disobey or leave him, he won't worry about consequences," she
adds. "He just wants to punish her." [Source: Canoe (Sun Media) Aug.1,
There can be little doubt which one of these
two fits the profile of a parent who sees death as the only way out of despair. Yet, based
on the public education campaigns aided and abetted by such publications as the annual
Family Violence in Canada the wealthy mother, who, as a physician, had all the
means to do her deed in the quiet of her own home, but who chose to act in an
exhibitionist manner, maybe hoping that she would be stopped before she did the deed, is
the one whom we see as deserving sympathy. The condemnation is reserved to the desperate
father. Not only was he tried and found guilty in the media. His plight was also used as
an advocacy tool to broadcast the woman and children victims of murderous and power
hungry men. Yet, if we look at the two perpetrators, would it not be more accurate
to say that the mother was obsessed with the desire to wield power over her child. She
preferred to kill him and herself rather than leave him in the care of others, maybe only
for a few hours a day. She also was not prepared to give up her professional career.
Bill Luft, on the other hand, knew that his children would be homeless and hungry, either
if he lived or died once his parents sold the house.
Media: Suicidal parents who take their
children with them often do so for love, says the director of a national crisis support
Joan Wright of the Canadian Association for
Suicide Prevention: "It's often done as an act of love, not any sort of revenge
When someone does complete a suicide, they feel there's no other way to end their
pain. You can't understand how powerful that is." [Source: Alan Findlay -- Sun
News Aug. 12, 2000]
- This statement has been attributed to: Evan
D. Stark and A. Flitcraft. "Violence Among Intimates: An Epidemiological Review."
In Handbook of Family Violence, Van Hasselt, ed., (New York, NY: 1989), 293-318.
- Canadian Health Network. What some studies
have shown: In 1993 Statistics Canada did a National Survey on Violence Against Women.
They found out that a male partner has abused almost one out of three women in Canada.
This included both physical and sexual abuse. Over half of these women were badly
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for health Statistics.
Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: 1992. Emergency Department Summary. (Vital
and Health Statistics Series. Series 13, no. 125) (PHS) 97-1786. GPO stock no.
017-122-01369-0 [No longer available on the Internet]
Visits were considered to be injury related
irrespective whether they were the first or a subsequent follow-up visit. Therefore, the
injury could have been recorded more than once.
In 1992, total of 3,983,000 women visited the
emergency departments due to accidental falls; 1,984,000 visits were related to motor
vehicle accidents. The total number of known violence related visits was 1,147,000. The
number of motor vehicle accidents alone is greater than that of all injuries due to all
violence. As injuries received during intimate violence are a subgroup of other
intentional injuries, the statement is clearly false.
Womens injury related visits to emergency departments:
|Nature of Injury
|Motor Vehicle Accidents
|Homicide and Other Intentional Injury
|Assault by Unspecified Means
|Fight, Brawl, Rape
|Accidents Due to Natural and Environmental Factors
|Other Injury Caused by Animals
|Venomous Animals and Plants
|Accidental Poisoning by Drugs, Medicinal Substances, etc.
|Surgical or Medical Procedures -- Abnormal Reaction To
|Accidents Caused by Submersion, Suffocation and Foreign Bodies
|Unknown and Other
- During 1994 men experienced almost 6.6
million violent victimizations; women experienced 5 million. For every 3 violent
victimizations of males, there were 2 of females.
During 1994 U.S. residents age 12 or older
experienced 11.6 million violent victimizations -- murders, rapes, sexual assaults,
robberies, aggravated assaults, and simple assaults (Criminal Victimization 1994
(NCJ -158022, April 1996) reported 10.9 million violent victimizations.
crimes, excluded in that report, are included in this report.) Men experienced
more of these crimes than women: 6.6 million versus 5 million. Strangers to the victims
committed most of the violence against males (3.9 million), while persons whom the victims
knew committed most of the violence against females (3 million).
Women age 12 or older experienced 5 million
violent victimizations: about 432,000 rapes and sexual assaults, 472,000 robberies, over
940,000 aggravated assaults, and over 3 million simple assaults. In addition, 4,489
females age 12 or older were victims of homicide.
Friends or acquaintances committed 34% of
violent victimizations of females; intimates (current or former spouse, boyfriend, or
girlfriend), 21%; and other relatives, 7%. Although males were predominately victimized by
strangers, friends or acquaintances accounted for 30% of their victimizations.
Females and males were victims of specific types
of crimes in varying degrees. Among female victims, friends or acquaintances committed 40%
of the rapes and sexual assaults; strangers, 32%; and intimates, 24%. The intimate
offender was more likely a boy/girlfriend or ex-boy/girlfriend (14.3%) than a spouse
(7.3%), a difference that may be due in part to spouses' reluctance to disclose violence
by their partners (This report does not distinguish between heterosexual and same-sex
intimate violence.) [in: U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs Bureau of
Justice Statistics Special Report Sex Differences in Violent Victimization, 1994
September 1997, NCJ-164508]