Sociology Prof Discusses Domestic Violence Data Problems with Globe and Mail


Prof. Myrna Dawson (University of Guelph)

Prof. Myrna Dawson, the director of U of G’s Centre for Social and Legal Responses to Violence, spoke to The Globe and Mail about the many problems with how domestic violence murders are recorded and investigate in Canada.

Dawson discussed why so many domestic-violence deaths are not recorded as such because they involve relationships that aren’t clearly domestic partnerships, or because of other factors that fall outside the definition of “domestic violence.”

Dawson said without access to all the data, it’s difficult for researchers like t her to fully study the problem and determine the failures within the system that lead to such deaths and to work on prevention.

Dawson is the director of the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability. She recently co-wrote the first-ever national domestic homicide report as well as the first report on national femicide rates.

As the Canada Research Chair in Public Policy in Criminal Justice, Dawson studies trends in and social and legal responses to violence against women in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.