Hamilton could declare intimate partner violence an epidemic


Published July 6, 2023 at 4:22 pm

A not-for-profit organization is sounding an alarm on the increase in intimate partner violence (IPV) and gender-based violence (GBV) in Hamilton.

The statistics collected by the Women Abuse Working Group (WAWG) have prompted the organization to ask the municipality to declare intimate partner violence an epidemic in the city.

In 2022, women’s shelters in Hamilton received 7,660 calls to their crisis/helplines. Similarly, the sexual assault center reported 1,973 calls to its crisis support line, underscoring the frequency of GBV incidents, according to WAWG’s data.

The organization says 4,498 women were turned away from shelters, exposing the need for expanded resources. The numbers from 2022 continue to rise in 2023.

The WAWG aims to address these issues by urging the government of Ontario to formally declare intimate partner violence as an epidemic in Hamilton, following the lead of 36 municipalities in Ontario that have already taken this step.

During the city council meeting held on June 21, Ward 3 Councillor Nrinder Nan presented a report, signalling that Hamilton is on track to declare an IPV epidemic this summer.

Calling on the need for increased support and stable and adequate funding, WAWG will be hosting a press conference tomorrow (July 7) at Hamilton City Hall at 10 a.m. to declare IPV and GBC an epidemic in the city.


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