1 in 6 Canadians reveal their Mother was a Victim of Domestic Abuse

A new study by Interval House shines a spotlight on violence against mothers.

Toronto, ON – May 6, 2015 – This Mother’s Day we will celebrate the sacrifices made by the mothers in our lives. Yet for some women those sacrifices are unthinkable. A new study commissioned by Interval House, Canada’s first shelter for abused women, shows that many of us have a mother or know a mother who has been abused. The recent poll, hosted on the Angus Reid Forum, revealed that 1 in 6 (16%) Canadians shared that their mother has been a victim of domestic abuse. The study also showed that 36% of Canadians personally know a mother who has experienced domestic violence.

“Many women who experience violence are mothers. And when mothers are abused their children are also significantly impacted,” says Renee Weekes, Chair of the Board of Directors at Interval House. “Children who witness their mother’s abuse can experience learning challenges, behavioural and emotional issues and these long-term effects can extend into adulthood. We know that children who are exposed to violence can be more likely to grow up to become victims or abusers.”

The Interval House study also showed the majority of Canadians (94%) do not believe that a woman should stay in an abusive relationship for the sake of the children. “It’s good to hear that Canadian’s support mothers leaving an abusive relationship. There are services like Interval House across the country to help women safely rebuild her life after abuse,” says Weeks, “However, it’s also important to note that some mothers fear leaving because their abusive partner has threatened she’ll lose custody of her children, because she doesn’t have the financial means to support her family or because her partner threatens to kill her or the children if she ends the relationship.”

We need to keep letting mothers – and all women – know that they are not alone, they are not to blame for domestic abuse, and that there are community organizations like Interval House to support them. As Mother’s Day approaches, you can help brighten the day of a mother living at Interval House by making a donation in honour of your mother or another woman in your life: www.intervalhouse.ca/MothersDay

*Survey Methodology: From April 20th to April 21st, 2015 an online survey was conducted among 1007 randomly selected adults in Canada who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to education, age, gender and income. Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

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About Interval House
As the first centre for abused women and children in Canada, Interval House is a leader in the campaign for women’s empowerment, providing innovative, specialized services that help abused women and their children transform their lives and break the cycle of violence. Interval House’s holistic approach provides a continuum of services from crisis intervention to re-integration into the workforce and community, giving women and children the chance to rebuild their lives. For more information please visit www.intervalhouse.ca

To schedule an interview contact Ashleigh Saith: asaith@intervalhouse.ca, 416.924.1411 x231