A flood of honour killings in Canada has prompted the Harper government to take extraordinary measures—even if specific legislation to stem the tide, mooted last year by the minister responsible for the status of women, has now been back-burnered.
Since 2002, 13 honour killings have been reported.
During roughly the same period (2002-2009: 2010 statistics aren’t available yet), Canada experienced 4,836 homicides. One in five homicides are domestic: 83% of those are women. In other words, approximately 800 women were killed in domestic disputes during that time.
Honour killings, then, represent 0.27% of total homicides, and 1.6% of all female victims of domestic violence. This epidemic of imported violence simply has to stop: the government knows it, and has set its priorities accordingly. Status of Women has put aside $2 million to fight violence against women. $800,000 has already been allocated to three initiatives in the Toronto area “aimed at empowering women, particularly immigrants, to learn about their rights and to speak out against abuse.” [emphasis added]
It is hoped that targeting this abuse will reduce the overall homicide numbers by as many as two deaths per year. About time.