Ml

6 1993

NORTHERN ALBERTA FAMILY VIOLENCE RESEARCH PROJECT

February, 1991

Prepared by: Family Support Services

Alberta Family and Social Services

Funding for this Ministry of the Solicitor

project provided by: General of Canada

For additional The Office for the Prevention

copies contact: of Family Violence

Alberta Family and Social Services

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

Introduction 1

Background 1

Limitations 3

Metliodology 3

Analysis 6

A. Agency Survey 6

1 . Characteristics of Victims and Offenders 7

2. Characteristics of Violence . 11

3. Action Taken by Agencies 19

B. Victim Survey 30

C. Key Agents Survey 31

Conclusion 39

Appendices

Appendix A: Key Definitions^ 41

Appendix B: Agency Questionnaire 44

Appendix C: Victim Interview Form 78

Appendix D: Key Agents Survey 100

Appendix E: Community Coordinating Committee Members 119

Appendix F: Advisory Committee Members 122

Appendix G: Committee Members' Comments 123

Appendix H: Terms of Reference 125

Appendix I: Whitecourt Community Analysis 130

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I. INTRODUCTION

On February 20, 1987, the Federal Government, represented by Supply and Services, on behalf of the Solicitor General Canada and the Government of Alberta, represented by Alberta Family and Social Services, signed a Memorandum of Agreement to jointly undertake a study of family violence in northern Alberta. Of primary concern in this study was the determination of response levels by government and community agencies to issues of family violence in rural and isolated communities in northern Alberta. It was assumed that information on the full scope of the problem and the nature of response by community agencies were the first steps toward an integrated inter-agency community approach to dealing with family violence matters and designing effective preventative strategies.

It was intended that the project would have a broad, wide-ranging structure of analysis incorporating an overview of the field of family violence within an economic, social and legal context. This was to include examination of levels of spousal abuse, child physical abuse and neglect, child sexual abuse, elder abuse and dating violence in conjunction with the level of services available, combined with the response system of all agencies involved with family violence issues. The Northern Alberta Family Violence Research Project was developed as an open-scope analysis which evolved over time attempting to respond directly to community priorities and issues.

II. BACKGROUND

The project rationale is based on a recognition that an integrated inter-agency approach within a community is needed to deal effectively with the problems of family violence. Three communities in Northern Alberta were selected for participation in the project: Whitecourt, Athabasca (T own/Calling Lake), and the Alexis Indian Reserve. Each community established a community coordinating committee (Appendix E) comprised of personnel from key agencies directly involved in service delivery related to family violence in each respective area. Committees were established in early 1 985 prior to the start of the study in both Whitecourt and the Alexis Indian Reserve, whereas the Athabasca committee was established in 1986, somewhat later due to their delayed incorporation Into the study. Committee members were comprised of police, social service workers, community health nurses, mental health clinicians, educators. Family and Community Services representatives and concerned lay participants.

Initial directions for each community were discussed and developed, as well as a structural design for the information gathering process, hiring of a principal researcher and definition of scope,

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limitations and specific objectives. Committees worked withi tlie researcher to outline current resources in their respective communities which address issues of family violence, determine what the current procedures are in such circumstances as well as the effectiveness of these approaches and gauge their own community's attitude and reception to any new prevention or intervention strategies recommended for their areas. In addition, an advisory committee (Appendix F) made up of senior management personnel from a variety of government agencies was established. The purpose of this committee was to ensure the smooth operation of the project through promotion and consultation within their own departments. This committee was also involved in the overall direction of the research project with a view to future policy decisions within provincial government departments involved in family violence service delivery.

A number of problems were experienced during the planning, data collection and analysis stages which served to delay the progress of the study. For instance, the project administration was made more complicated by the transfer of funds and ownership between governments and departments. As well, in 1987 Peace River (originally intended to be included in the study) committee members chose to withdraw from the study due to concerns regarding the development of the study, and another community (Athabasca) had to be chosen. Over the period of the study, most of the original committee members and the contact from Federal Solicitor General's Department left and others had to be brought on stream. The computer software package used for storing and generating statistical data was problematic from the outset. When the extent and magnitude of the difficulties became apparent, a decision was made to hire an independent consulting company in Ottawa to re-write the program to make it more amenable to the goals and objectives of the project. Concurrently, a decision to revise the Agency Form, to reduce some limitations and allow for more efficient and extensive data collection, was made. Both a new form and a new computer program made some backtracking necessary. All Agency Forms entered on the computer to that point (a total of 489) had to be re-coded and re-entered into the computer. Finally, both the principle researcher and the assistant, who later became the principle researcher, left the project suddenly at a critical stage, which necessitated a third person reviewing the study from inception to completion in order to conduct an analysis and provide a report.

Throughout the majority of the study, a Research Officer from the Police and Security Branch of the Solicitor General, Canada acted as technical advisor. The project director, on the provincial level, was the Director of the Office for the Prevention of Family Violence. There were several researchers involved over the 36 month study. After the study was completed and the data had been collected, Quality Assurance Programs of Alberta Family and Social Services was asked to conduct the analysis

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and provide a report, based on only reliable and valid Information, ensuring that all limitations to the data would be identified and interpretations would not be made in a misleading manner.

III. LIMITATIONS

As the study was conducted over a two year time period by three researchers successively, some continuity was lost. As well, a lack of opportunity for collaboration among the researchers and between the researchers and writer served to cause some disparity between the original intent of the study and the final results. For example, discussions were held with the local committees regarding the scope of the problem, suggestions about possible solutions, the adequacy of changes made and how further improvements could be made. Interim reports were produced which contained an outline of these discussions but the data that was finally collected was not adequate to substantiate the direction suggested there.

The objectives in terms of reference for the study lacked preciseness and measurability, which, in retrospect, may have contributed to the development of a somewhat ambitious project scope.

Finally, the study did not have a large enough study population to be able to indicate any valid trends in victim-offender activities or service to an outside population or the general public. All generalizations based on the data must be limited to the three communities which participated in the study. For the same reason, it would be misleading to isolate and analyze the data by community for anything more than interest's sake.

However, because the Whitecourt Coordinating Committee members indicated interest in a more detailed analysis of the study as it pertained to their community alone, and they provided the majority of the data for the study, a supplement to this report with a Whitecourt-specific analysis was agreed to. The supplemental report is shown as Appendix I for Whitecourt Coordinating Committee members. It is understood by the Committee that as a tool for planning future programs or changes to programs, it should be used only in conjunction with other supporting data or as an indication of areas requiring further study.

IV. METHODOLOGY

As a result of the broad range of objectives outlined in the study, it was necessary to incorporate three separate research designs. The initial stage of the study involved the reporting of incidents of

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family violence cases as they came to the attention of those agencies participating in the study, in the form of an agency questionnaire. The second stage involved direct interviews between the researcher and the victims of family violence who were referred through the first stage. The final stage incorporated an overview of agency workers and their perceptions of the effectiveness of their own respective agencies, as well as other agencies.

The final study design was a result of input from all community committees, the advisory committee, Solicitor General Canada, the project director, the researcher and an independent consulting firm assigned to the development of the key agent survey.

Stage I: The Agency Questionnaire

The objective of the agency questionnaire was to develop an overview of family violence cases in each participating community and their agency(s) response. The researcher, together with each community's coordinating committee, developed an initial interview questionnaire which evolved into the present agency questionnaire (Appendix B). Upon clarification of the parameters of the information to be gathered, as well as a definition of terms used (Appendix A), agency personnel gathered data with this instrument over a period of 26 months. The information obtained provides an outline of each reported incident of family violence for each agency. This included information about the nature and type of abuse involved, background characteristics of the individuals and families, a description of what allegedly occurred, and each agency's response to the report of violence. Names of victims and offenders were provided to the researcher to track individuals through the system and to allow subsequent contact with those individuals for completion of the second phase of the study. Each incident required an agency form to be completed, as well as separate forms for those incidents involving multiple victims and/or offenders. An example of this would be If Family and Social Sen/ices was contacted with an incident of child abuse involving three children within one family unit; in this case the agency worker completing the form would be asked to complete one form for each of the three victims involved in that single incident.

The data for Stage I was collected by agency workers participating in the study, and subsequently was normally forwarded to the researcher on a bi-weekly or monthly basis.

The agency form was intended to be completed by the front-line staff within each agency on all incidents of family violence that came to their attention; however, this was not consistent in

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application. The form Included demographic data, Information about the alleged event and the agency's response.

Stace II: The Victim Interview Form

Data collected through the agency questionnaire in Stage I was used to determine which individuals would be contacted for interviews In this phase. The focus of this group was narrowed to only those who were adult victims of spousal abuse. The initial design explored the possibility of interviewing victims of child abuse, however due to their status as minors, this was rejected. Consideration was also given to interviewing adult offenders of wife or child abuse but was not pursued to avoid prejudicing matters which may be before the courts.

The interview instrument (Appendix C) was designed to review the original incident in greater detail, as well as provide an avenue for the victim to express her perceptions, based on her own experiences, about her community's current response to family violence and how it might be improved. This form also Included a more detailed demographic background of both the alleged victim and offender, as well as an exploration of some additional psychological and emotional issues.

Based on the information collected via the agency questionnaire, eligible candidates were listed to be contacted for the interview process. Due to technical problems with the computer program, interviewing of victims did not commence until the seventeenth month of data collection for the study. Lists of possible candidates were fon/varded to the originating agency, where one agency worker was selected to review the names and contact as many victims as possible. Initial contact was therefore made by the agency themselves to avoid any concerns regarding confidentiality on the part of the victim. Once this initial contact was made, the researcher was informed of those victims who had agreed to be interviewed. Agency workers were instructed regarding the manner in which they were to approach the victims, to ensure that the victims consenting to participate were fully aware of the content and purpose of the interview and study. The second phase of contact was made directly by research staff In order to arrange for the date, time, place and type of Interview format. Interviews were conducted over an eight month period by two interviewers. The interviews ranged in length from fifty to ninety minutes and were conducted either in person or by telephone as requested by the interviewee.

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Staae ill: The Kev Agent Survey

The Intent of the survey design was to gather information from "key agents" regarding their education, training and experience, their opinions regarding the inter-relationships of agencies, their own agencies' policies and practices, and their perceptions of service delivery needs in the future. The key agents included professional, para-professional and front-line staff at each participating agency, both paid employees and volunteers.

Research staff distributed questionnaires (Appendix D) directly to agency personnel who were also committee members. These workers were briefed on the content and made familiar with the Instrument. They, in turn, supervised the distribution of the surveys among their personnel, along with an introduction and instructions for completion. Agency personnel were allotted approximately three weeks in which to complete the survey.

V. ANALYSIS

A total of 61 6 agency forms were submitted throughout the twenty-six months of data collection. The breakdown by community is: Whitecourt 391 (64%), Alexis 129 (21%), and Athabasca/Calling Lake 95 (15%)^ Complete victim interviews totalled 18 for both Whitecourt and Athabasca; no interviews were conducted in Alexis. A total of 60 key agent surveys submitted by workers in the communities were included in the study.

A: Agency Survey

The social agencies participating in this study were asked to complete a form on each new incident of family violence reported to their agency. This was to be done for all disputes or violent incidents that involved members of the same family, including child abuse/neglect, disputes or allegations of violence between spouses, any abuse or neglect of parents by children or incidents between children of the same family.

All information presented for Athabasca includes Calling Lake unless othenA^ise indicated.

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1 . Characteristics of Victims and Offenders

Of the reported cases of violence, 82.4% of the victims were female and 1 7.6% were male. When examined by community, this distribution continued to hold true as Whitecourt victims were 15.3% male and 84.4% female and Athabasca's were 16.8% male and 83.2% female. Alexis, however, had a somewhat higher occurrence of abuse against males at 24.8% and 75.2% for females.

Table 1 shows the relationship of the victim to the offender for each community. Alexis' higher male abuse is attributed to the approximately doubled rate of abuse against sons as compared to Whitecourt and Athabasca. Overall, Alexis reports a significantly higher rate of abuse of sons and daughters (53.5% of all abuse cases) than Whitecourt (24.5%) or Athabasca (15.8%). On the other hand, compared to abuse of other family members, wife abuse is most prevalent in Athabasca (63.2%) and Whitecourt (57.5%) in contrast to Alexis (20.9%). If one considers abuse against a mother, father, mother- in-law or father-in-law, Athabasca ranks the highest in occurrence at 7.5% compared to Whitecourt at 2.1% and Alexis at 1.6%.

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Table 1

VICTIM'S RELATIONSHIP TO OFFENDER

Total of Communities

Alexis

Whitecourt

Athabasca

N

(%)

N

(%)

N

(%)

N

(%)

Wife

312

(50.7)

27

(20.9)

225

(57.5)

60

(63.2)

Daughter

114

(18.5)

45

(34.9)

63

(16.1)

6

(6.3)

Son

66

(10.7)

24

(18.6)

33

(8.4)

9

(9.5)

Sister

19

(3.1)

3

(2.3)

13

(3.3)

3

(3.2)

Female cousin

18

(2.9)

11

(8.5)

6

(1.5)

1

(1.1)

Husband

12

(2.0)

1

(0.8)

10

(2.6)

1

(1.1)

Father

8

(1.3)

1

(0.8)

4

(1.0)

3

(3.2)

Niece

7

(1.1)

3

(2.3)

4

(1.0)

.

Mother

6

(1.0)

1

(0.8)

2

(0.5)

3

(3.2)

Nephew

4

(0.7)

2

(1-6)

2

(0.5)

Sister-in-law

4

(0.7)

-

2

(0.5)

2

(2.1)

Aunt

3

(0.5)

3

(2.3)

Brother

3

(0.5)

3

(0.8)

Brother-in-law

3

(0.5)

1

(0.8)

2

(2.1)

Mother-in-law

2

(0.3)

1

(0.3)

1

(1.1)

Male cousin

2

(0.3)

1

(0.3)

1

(1.1)

Uncle

1

(0.2)

1

(0.8)

Father-in-law

1

(0.2)

1

(0.3)

Other/unknown

30

(4.9)

6

(4.7)

21

(5.4)

3

(3.2)

A comparison of victim's ages supports the previous findings. In Alexis the majority of victims are very young, under ten years of age. Whitecourt victims are somewhat more spread out in age with a majority in the older teen-younger adult age groups. However, elder abuse appears more prevalent in this community. Victims in Athabasca tend to be even more spread out, negating age of victim as a predicting variable here.

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Table 2

AGE GROUP OF VICTIM AT THE TIME OF INCIDENT

Total of Communities

Alexis

Whitecourt

Athabasca

N

(%)

N

(%)

N

(%)

N

(%)

0- 4

65

(10.6)

35

(27.1)

26

(6.6)

4

(4.2)

5- 9

67

(10.9)

36

(27.9)

30

(7.7)

1

(1.1)

10- 14

52

(8.5)

11

(8.5)

35

(9.0)

6

(6.3)

15-19

73

(11.9)

11

(8.5)

50

(12.8)

12

(12.6)

20-24

96

(15.6)

14

(10.9)

64

(16.4)

18

(18.9)

25-29

98

(15.9)

4

(3.1)

80

(20.5)

14

(14.7)

30-34

52

(8.5)

4

(3.1)

36

(9.2)

12

(12.6)

35-39

37

(6.0)

7

(5.4)

22

(5.6)

8

(8.4)

40-44

30

(4.9)

1

(0.8)

17

(4.3)

12

(12.6)

45-49

12

(2.0)

2

(1.6)

9

(2.3)

1

(1.1)

50-54

6

(1.0)

-

2

(0.5)

4

(4.2)

55-59

3

(0.5)

-

2

(0.5)

1

(1.1)

60-64

6

(1.0)

5

(1.3)

1

(1.1)

65-69

3

(0.5)

2

(0.5)

1

(1.1)

70-74

75-79

1

(0.2)

1

(0.8)

80-84

2

(0.3)

2

(1.6)

85-89

90-94

1

(0.2)

(0.3)

95 +

11

(1.8)

1

(0.8)

10

(2.6)

Alexis had the highest percentage of young offenders (under the age of twenty) at 13.2% of all offenders compared to 7.4% and 6.1% In Athabasca and Whitecourt respectively (Table 3). In all three communities, the majority of offenders were twenty- five to thirty-four years of age and the number of offenders then dropped off considerably at the forty-five to forty-nine year age group.

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Table 3

AGE GROUP OF OFFENDER AT TIME OF INCIDENT

Total of ConDmunitles

Alexis

Whltecourt

Athabasca

N

(%)

N

(%)

N

(%)

N

(%)

5 9

10 - 14

8

(1.3)

3

(2.3)

4

(1.0)

1

(1.1)

15 - 19

40

(6.5)

14

(10.9)

20

(5.1)

6

(6.3)

20 - 24

86

(14.0)

16

(12.4)

57

(14.6)

13

(13.7)

25 - 29

128

(20.8)

30

(23.3)

83

(21.2)

15

(15.8)

30 - 34

102

(16.6)

22

(17.1)

62

(15.9)

18

(18.9)

35 - 39

82

(13.3)

24

(18.6)

44

(11.3)

14

(14.7)

40 - 44

56

(9.1)

9

(7.0)

33

(8.4)

14

(14.7)

45 - 49

23

(3.7)

-

15

(3.8)

8

(8.4)

50 - 54

15

(2.4)

2

(1.6)

10

(2.6)

3

(3.2)

55-59

10

(1.6)

2

(1.6)

7

(1.8)

1

(1.1)

60-64

(0.2)

1

(1.1)

65-69

(0.2)

1

(0.3)

70-74

(0.2)

1

(0.3)

75-79

(0.2)

1

(0.3)

80-84

(0.2)

1

(0.3)

Unknown

60

(9.8)

7

(5.4)

52

(13.3)

1

(1.1)

The victims were asked their race and the offender's race in order to determine if the rate of violence in the community for that race differed significantly from the proportion of the population in the community as a whole represented by that race. However, an accurate breakdown of race by community was not possible beyond Caucasian versus Native Indian. Based on this information, it is obvious that Native Indian victims and offenders are over represented in Whitecourt which is approximately 82% Caucasian and 5% Native Indian; only 69% of the victims were Caucasian and almost 21% were Native Indian, 73% of the offenders were Caucasian and just over 12% were Native Indian. Alexis' population Is almost completely Native Indian therefore it is not surprising that almost all the victims and offenders were the same. Race population statistics for Athabasca and Calling Lake were not available for comparison although it was found that in the two areas combined just over 44% of the abused were Caucasian compared to almost 34% Native Indian and 19% Metis; the offenders were almost 39% Caucasian, nearly 31% Native Indian and 21% Metis.

Characteristics of Violence

For the 332 cases of spousal abuse, marital status of the couple at the time of the incident was examined (Table 4) in each community. Couples living common-law had the highest incidence of abuse in all three communities. Married couples in Whitecourt and Athabasca and separated couples previously living common-law in Alexis experienced the next highest rate of spousal abuse. However, Alexis probably has a higher rate of common-law unions; Statistics Canada figures for 1986 state the total number of married people in Alexis as only approximately 41 % compared to Whitecourt and Athabasca at around 81 % and 74% respectively.

Table 4

MARITAL STATUS AND RATE OF SPOUSAL ABUSE

Total of Communities

Alexis

Whitecourt

Athabasca

N

(%)

N

(%)

N

(%)

N

(%)

Single-never married/not co-habitating

1

(0.3)

(-)

1

(0.4)

(~)

Married

116

(34.9)

3

(11.1)

88

(36.4)

25

(39.7)

Common-law

168

(50.6)

18

(66.7)

118

(48.8)

32

(50.8)

Separated-previously married

18

(5.4)

1

(3.7)

14

(5.8)

3

(4.8)

Separated-previously common-law

22

(6.6)

4

(14.8)

15

(6.2)

3

(4.8)

Divorced

3

(0.9)

(-)

3

(1.2)

(-)

Other/unknown

4

(1.2)

1

(3.7)

3

(1.2)

(...)

Table 5 presents a detailed description of the main type of incident that occurred by the main nature of the incident for each community. This table may be examined in several ways. Reading downwards will provide the specific nature of abuse within each type of abuse for each community, and the total of communities. For example, a total of 87 child abuse cases were reported in Alexis; of those, 20 were cases of sexual abuse, 10 were cases of physical abuse, 5 were emotional/psychological abuse, and 52 were neglect. Reading across the table shows there were a total of 60 cases of sexual abuse in the three communities where the type of incident was child abuse. If one wants to look at sexual abuse, regardless of whether it is occurring to a child, spouse, elder, etc., then sexual abuse under each category must be added together. For example, there were 60 cases reported under Child Abuse, plus 1 under Spouse

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Abuse, plus 2 under Other, for a total of 63 cases of sexual abuse. An examination of this nature shows 270 of the 615 cases reported were physical abuse (43.9%); 111 cas^^ (18.0%) were emotional or psychological abuse; 77 (12.5%) were neglect; 63 (10.2%) were sexual abuse; threats of assault, Injury or personal harm accounted for 53 cases (8.6%); and financial exploitation, breach of the peace or a restraining order, damage or theft of property accounted for 6 (1.0%), 5(0.8%) and 5 (0.8%) of the cases respectively. Homicide/death was reported only once (0.2%); the final 24 cases fell under the category "Other" (3.9%).

Spousal abuse is separated into female victim (66.6%), male victim (1.2%) and general inter-spousal dispute in which the offender and victim cannot be clearly differentiated (32.2%). When the victim was clearly the female, the abuse was mainly of a physical nature in all communities, as well, the four male victims were physically abused. However, when the conflict was of a general inter-spousal nature, the main type of abuse was emotional/psychological (except in Alexis where the distribution was even).

)

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Table 5

TYPE OF ABUSE - NATURE OF INCIDENT

Alexis

Whitecourt

Athabasca

Total

N

(%)

N

(%)

N

(%)

N

(%)

CHILD ABUSE

Sexual abuse

20

(23.0)

37

(35.2)

3

(21.4)

60

(29.1)

Physical abuse

10

(11.5)

36

(34.3)

6

(42.9)

52

(25.2)

Threatened with assault/injury/personal harm

5

(4 8)

5

(2 4)

Emotional/psychological abuse

5

(5.7)

6

(5.7)

3

(21.4)

14

(6.8)

Neglect

52

(59.8)

20

(19.0)

2

(14.3)

74

(35.9)

Breach of court

-

1

(1.0)

-

1

(0.5)

TOTAL

87

(100.0) (42.2)

1 AC

(lUU.O; (51.0)

14

(6.8)

AA A\

(100.0)

SPOUSE ABUSE (FEMALE VICTIM)

Sexual abuse

1

(0.7)

1

(0.5)

Physical abuse

18

(78.3)

103

(69.1)

36

(73.5)

157

(71.0)

Threatened with assault/injury/personal harm

1

(4.3)

16

(10.7)

9

(18.4)

26

(1 1 .8)

Emotional/psychological abuse

3

(13.0)

28

(18.8)

4

(8.2)

35

(15.8)

Breach of court

1

(0.7)

"

1

(0.5)

Damage or theft

1

(4.3)

1

(0.5)

TOTAL

23

(100.0) (10.4)

149

(100.0) (67.4)

49

(100.0) (22.2)

221

(100.0) (100.0)

SPOUSE ABUSE (MALE VICTIM)

Physical abuse

1

(100.0)

3

(100.0)

4

(100.0)

TOTAL

1

(100.0) (25.0)

3

(100.0) (75.0)

(100.0)

4

(100.0) (100.0)

GENERAL INTERSPOUSAL DISPUTE/CONFLICT

Physical abuse

1

(33.3)

15

(16.7)

3

(21.4)

19

(17.8)

Threatened with

a^^Aiilt /iniiirv/npr^nnAl harm

Gld^CIUI 1/ II IJUI J / owl ICII i lOI 1 1 1

1

(33.3)

12

(13.3)

1

(7.1)

14

(13.1)

Emotional/psychological abuse

1

(33.3)

40

(44.4)

9

(64.3)

50

(46.7)

Financial exploitation abuse

5

(5.6)

1

(7.1)

6

(5.6)

Neglect

1

(1.1)

1

(0.9)

Breach of court

3

(3.3)

3

(2.8)

Damage or theft

4

(4.4)

4

(3.7)

Unknown

2

(2.2)

2

(1.9)

Other

8

(8.9)

8

(7.5)

TOTAL

3

(100.0) (2.8)

90

(100.0) (84.1)

14

(100.0) (13.1)

107

(100.0) (100.0)

- 14-

Table 5

TYPE OF ABUSE - NATURE OF INCIDENT

Alexis

Whitecourt

Athabasca

Total

N

(%)

N

(%)

N

(%)

N

(%)

ABUSE OF PARENT

Physic&l sbus6

2

(100.0)

2

(100.0)

4

(100.0)

TOTAL

-

2

(100.0) (50.0)

2

(100.0) (50.0)

4

(100.0) (100.0)

CONFLICT BETWEEN

r^mi nppM r>P qamp pamii v oniLunciN vjr omivic rMiviiLT

rnySICal aDUSO

3

(100.0

8

(89.9)

3

(100.0)

14

(93.3)

Emotlondl/psychologlcdl abuse

1

(11.1)

1

(6.7)

TOTAL

3

(100.0) (20.0)

9

(100.0) (60.0)

3

(100.0) (20.0)

15

(100.0) (100.0)

GENERAL PARENT-CHILD DISPUTE/CONFLICT

Homicide/death

-

1

(5.3)

-

1

(3.0)

Physical abuse

1

(16.7)

-

-

1

(3.0)

1 ilicalcilcU Willi

assault/injury/personal harm

1

(16.7)

1

(5.3)

4

(50.0)

6

(18.2)

Emotional /psychological abuse

A

(66.7)

0

(26.3)

1

(12.5)

lU

(30.3)

Neglect

1

(5.3)

1

(3.0)

Other

-

11

(57.9)

3

(37.5)

14

(42.4)

TOTAL

6

(100.0) (18.2)

19

(100.0) (57.6)

8

(100.0) (24.2)

33

(100.0) (100.0)

OTHER

Sexual abuse

-

1

(7.1)

1

(20.0)

2

(8.0)

Physical abuse

5

(83.3)

y

(64.3)

A

(80.0)

i Q

(72.0)

Threatened with assault/injury/personal harm

1

(7.1)

1

(4.0)

Emotional /psychological abuse

1

(7.1)

1

(4.0)

Neglect

1

(16.7)

1

(4.0)

Other

2

(14.3)

2

(8.0)

TOTAL

6

(100.0) (24.0)

14

(100.0) (56.0)

5

(100.0) (20.0)

25

(100.0) (100.0)

Table 5.1 again shows the nature of abuse for each community, this time with all forms of spousal abuse only as a total, for ease of Interpretation. In Alexis the nature of spousal abuse Is predominantly physical (74.1%); abuse in Athat)asca is also mostly of a physical nature (61.9%). Whitecourt, however, reports a greater variation of spousal abuse, one-half being physical and the other half a mixture of emotional abuse, threats of violence, damage, theft, financial exploitation, etc.

-15-

Table 5.1

SPOUSAL ABUSE - NATURE OF INCIDENT

Alexis

Whitecourt

Athabasca

N

N

N

3exual abuse

(--)

1

(0.4)

(—)

Physical abuse

20

(74.1)

121

(50.0)

39

(61.9)

Threatened with assault/injury/ personal harnn

2

(7.4)

28

(11.6)

10

(15.9)

Emotional/ psychological abuse

4

(14.8)

68

(28.1)

13

(20.6)

Neglect

(-)

1

(0.4)

Breach of court

(-)

1

(0.4)

Damage or theft

1

(3.7)

7

(2.9)

(-)

Rnancial exploitation

(-)

5

(2.1)

1

(1.6)

Unknown

(-)

2

(0.8)

(-)

Other

(-)

8

(3.3)

(-)

There were a total of 206 incidents of child abuse or neglect reported during the study. A review of the child's family status in each community (Table 6) shows that the vast majority of abused children lived in a two-parent family rather than in a one-parent household as might be assumed.

Table 6

FAMILY STATUS OF ABUSED/NEGLECTED CHILDREN

Alexis

Whitecourt

Athabasca

N

(%)

N

(%)

N

(%)

Parents living together with child

53

(60.9)

64

(61.0)

12

(85.7)

Single parent father living with child

(-)

4

(3.8)

(-)

Single parent mother living with child

24

(27.6)

30

(28.6)

30

(14.2)

Other

3

(3.4)

3

(2.9)

H

Unknown/NA

7

(8.0)

4

(3.9)

(-)

Neglect was the main form of child abuse in Alexis (60.0%), followed by sexual abuse (23.0%) (Table 5). In Whitecourt, sexual abuse was most common (35.0%), very closely followed by physical abuse (34.0%); neglect accounted for 19% of abuse. Athabasca had the fewest cases of child abuse per capita, with physical abuse the most prevalent

-16-

at 43% of all types of child abuse followed by both sexual abuse and emotional/psychological abuse at 21% each.

The victims were asked if the offender used or threatened to use a weapon of some kind against them during the incident of violence (Table 7). Over one-half (54.3%) of the Alexis respondents said no weapon was involved, however, over one-quarter (26.3%) reported the use or threatened use of fists, hands or feet against them and just over 6% were threatened or abused with a blunt object or a combination of objects. In comparison, Whitecourt respondents reported a greater use of fists, hands or feet (39.1%) and less cases of violence of a non-physical nature (42.2%). Over 8% of these respondents were threatened or abused with a weapon such as a sharp or blunt object, a firearm or a combination of weapons. Athabasca reported the highest rate of the three communities of abuse or threatened abuse by fists, hands or feet (47.4%), the highest use of weapons (13.8%), and the lowest rate of non-physical abuse (35.8%).

Table 7

USE OF WEAPONS AS THREAT OR ACTUAL USE

Alexis

Whitecourt

Athabasca

N

(%)

N

(%)

N

(%)

None

70

(54.3)

165

(42.2)

34

(35.8)

Fists or hands

31

(24.0)

147

(37.6)

40

(42.1)

Feet

3

(2.3)

6

(1.5)

5

(5.3)

Knife or sharp object

(-)

5

(1.3)

5

(5.3)

Blunt object

6

(4.7)

8

(2.0)

2

(2.1)

R rearm

(-)

8

(2.0)

3

(3.2)

Combination

2

(1.6)

12

(3.1)

3

(3.2)

Unknown

16

(12.4)

29

(7.4)

3

(3.2)

Other

1

(0.8)

11

(2.8)

(-)

It was intended that the study would include the extent and severity of injuries sustained as a result of the abuse. However, this information was not collected in the majority of cases. Of the 150 cases that were noted, just