An Estimation of the Economic Impact of Violent Victimization in Canada, 2009

  • Self-reported data on violent victimization show that in 2009 there were:
    • 1,418,794 incidents of assault and 62% of these incidents were directed against male victims;
    • 668,088 criminal harassment victims (data only allows for a victim count) and 74% of these victims were female (data from 2004);
    • 143,421 incidents of robbery and 56% of these incidents were against male victims;
    • 561,807 incidents of sexual assault and other sexual offences and 68% of these incidents were against female victims.
  • Offences reported to the police in 2009:
    • 160,027 incidents of assault and 58% of these assaults were against male victims;
    • 69,742 incidents of criminal harassment and 53% of these were against female victims;
    • 453 incidents of homicide and 82% of homicides were male victims;
    • 20,067 incidents of robbery and 66% of these incidents were against male victims;
    • 8,777 incidents of sexual assault and other sexual offences and 92% of these incidents were against female victims.

Overall costs

  • The total cost associated with these violent incidents which occurred in 2009 is estimated to be $12.7 billion, or $376 per Canadian. These figures are not annual costs, and they capture all the associated costs resulted from the victimization in 2009:
    • Assault cost $2.1 billion;
    • Criminal harassment cost $0.5 billion;
    • Homicide cost $3.7 billion;
    • Robbery cost $1.6 billion;
    • Sexual assault and other sexual offences cost $4.8 billion.

Justice System Costs

  • Justice system costs were $1.9 billion (including the criminal justice system - which includes police, court, prosecution, legal aid, and correctional service costs and the civil justice system - which includes costs for civil protection orders, divorces and separations, and child protection systems).

Victim Costs

  • Victim costs were $10.6 billion (including health care and mental health issues, lost wages, damaged or destroyed property costs, and legal costs for matters of divorce and separation).

Third-Party Costs

  • Third-party costs were $0.2 billion (including social services operating costs, losses to employers and the negative impact on the expected future earnings of children exposed to spousal violence.

Tangible costs by who pays

  • Tangible costs accounted for 26% of all costs ($3.3 billion);
  • Intangible costs accounted for 74% of all costs ($9.4 billion), mostly due to:
    • Pain and suffering costs for assault, robbery, and sexual assault and other sexual offences ($5.9 billion);
    • Loss of life costs for homicide ($3.5 billion).
  • Tangible costs can be further broken down by who actually paid:
    • The State paid 64% of the total tangible costs ($2.1 billion);
    • Individuals (including victims) paid 33% of the total tangible costs ($1.1 billion);
    • Businesses paid 4% of the total tangible costs ($116 million).

Source

Josh Hoddenbagh, Ting Zhang and Susan McDonald, 2014. An Estimation of the Economic Impact of Violent Victimization in Canada, 2009. Department of Justice Canada, Research and Statistics Division: Ottawa.

 

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