Statistics Canada has released a new report that suggests people with mental health-related disabilities experience more repeat violence, more violence at the hands of someone they know, and live with more known risk factors for violent victimization than the general population.
The report, Violent victimization of Canadians with mental health-related disabilities, also found that:
- one in 10 people aged 15 and older with a disability related to mental health experienced violence in the preceding 12 months – more than double the proportion among all Canadians (4 per cent).
- different subpopulations can have increased risk of victimization. For example, the proportion of women with mental health-related disabilities who reported being a victim of sexual assault (7 per cent) was over three times higher than that of their counterparts with no such condition (2 per cent).
- less than a quarter of the incidents experienced by those with mental health disabilities have been reported to police, compared with 31 per cent among victims with no mental health-related disability.
Released on Oct. 18, the report, used data from the 2014 General Social Survey on Canadians’ Safety, and is representative of the Canadian population at large.
For more information and to read the full report, please visit: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/181018/dq181018b-eng.htm?CMP=mstatcan
The Statistics Canada study also mirrors previous reports, which have shown that people with serious mental illnesses are more likely to be victims of violence themselves rather than perpetrators of violence, as stigma has led people to believe.
For this reason, CMHA Ontario aims to provide evidence-informed education on the relationship between mental health and violent victimization. Misperceptions about the relationship between mental health, mental illnesses, and violence contribute significantly to discrimination, and social exclusion.