Mila Buset and Debra Pepler
Progress in the awareness and provision of supportive services for those affected by family violence in Canada has been slow. It was not until 1991 that Canada's federal government, under the Family Violence Initiative, implemented a major program of data collection, analysis, and dissemination in the area of family violence. There were seven projects in this initiative: (a) a national household survey on violence against women, (b) a national survey of transitions homes, (c) a survey to examine cases of child abuse reported to pediatric hospitals, (d) an inventory of residential services for abused women, (e) an inventory of programs for men who batter, (f) a descriptive study of legislation and services provided by provincial child welfare systems, and (g) a project to improve the capacity of provincial information systems to provide criminal justice statistics in this area. This program was conducted by Statistics Canada, and the results were summarized in a report entitled Family Violence in Canada (Statistics Canada, 1999).
The term family violence was adopted for the Canadian program of research. Statistics Canada defined family violence as including intra- and extra-familial abuse of children and youth, as well as of older persons, and abuse of women by their male partners. It can take a number of forms in addition to physical assault, such as intimidation, mental or emotional abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, deprivation, and financial exploitation. The term fam-