Home > Ending Violence > Statistics: Sexual Harassment and Stalking

Statistics: Sexual Harassment and Stalking

Did You Know...

Sexual harassment and stalking are more common than people think...

  • Stalking is the fifth most common violent offence committed against women (2011).1
  • Stalking accounts for 7% of violent crimes committed against women2 and 5% of violent crimes committed against female youth (2011).3

Women are most often the victims…

  • Women are more likely to be followed and spied on, and to have stalkers waiting outside their homes and workplaces.4
  • Women are three times as likely to be victims of stalking,5 accounting for 76% of victims (2011).6
  • There were 5,191 police-reported female victims of stalking in Ontario in 2011, in comparison to 1,579 male victims.7
  • 3% of women report being a victim of stalking, double the rate for men (1.5%) (2009).8

Men are responsible for the vast majority of stalking incidents against women…

  • 85% of perpetrators in stalking incidents against women are men (2011).9

Perpetrators are often known to the victim…

  • 58% of stalking incidents against women are perpetrated by a male intimate partner. 20% are committed by a male acquaintance, while 9% are committed by a female friend or acquaintance (2011).10
  • Strangers represent 8% of those accused of stalking women, and most of the accused are male (2011).11

The nature of stalking differs between men and women…

  • Repeated, silent or obscene phone calls are the most common form of stalking episodes experienced by female victims, whereas intimidation or threats are most prevalent for male victims (2004).12

Although stalking in itself is unlikely to cause injury, it has the potential to escalate…

  • 2% of female stalking victims suffer injuries, all of which are minor in nature (2011).13
  • Yet these acts may escalate in physical injury or death to victims. In the last decade, 2% of all female homicide victims (39 women) were killed after being stalked by the accused in the weeks, months or years before their death.14
  • 75% of women who are stalked by their estranged spouses are also the victim of physical or sexual assault by that same person (2004).15

Stalking is an underreported crime…

  • Only 38% of stalking victims report the incident to police (2004).16
  • About 416,100 women self-reported being victims of stalking in 2009.17
  • In contrast, there were approximately 11,700 female victims of police-reported stalking in 2011.18

Stalking is less likely to result in the laying of charges, in comparison to other offence…

  • 60% of reported stalking incidents result in charges being laid, in comparison to 83% of solved homicides of women, 94% of solved attempted murders, 98% of level 3 aggravated assaults, and 86% of level 2 assaults with a weapon or causing bodily harm (2011).19

1Statistics Canada. (2013). Measuring violence against women: Statistical trends. Ottawa, ON: Minister of Industry. Pg. 8.

2Statistics Canada. (2013). Measuring violence against women: Statistical trends. Ottawa, ON: Minister of Industry. Pg. 8.

3Statistics Canada. (2013). Measuring violence against women: Statistical trends. Ottawa, ON: Minister of Industry. Pg. 16.

4Statistics Canada. (2006). Measuring Violence Against Women: Statistical Trends 2006. Ottawa, ON: Minister of Industry. Pg. 28.

5Statistics Canada. (2013). Measuring violence against women: Statistical trends. Ottawa, ON: Minister of Industry. Pg. 8.

6Statistics Canada. (2013). Measuring violence against women: Statistical trends. Ottawa, ON: Minister of Industry. Pg. 32.

7Statistics Canada. (2013). Table 1.13 Police-reported victims of criminal harassment, by sex of victim and province and territory, 2011. Retrieved on October 24, 2013. Retrieved from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2013001/article/11766/tbl/tbl01-13-eng.htm.

8Statistics Canada. (2013). Measuring violence against women: Statistical trends. Ottawa, ON: Minister of Industry. Pg. 33.

9Statistics Canada. (2013). Measuring violence against women: Statistical trends. Ottawa, ON: Minister of Industry. Pg. 32.

10Statistics Canada. (2013). Measuring violence against women: Statistical trends. Ottawa, ON: Minister of Industry. Pg. 32.

11Statistics Canada. (2013). Measuring violence against women: Statistical trends. Ottawa, ON: Minister of Industry. Pg. 32.

12Statistics Canada. (2013). Measuring violence against women: Statistical trends. Ottawa, ON: Minister of Industry. Pg. 33.

13Statistics Canada. (2013). Measuring violence against women: Statistical trends. Ottawa, ON: Minister of Industry. Pg. 33.

14Statistics Canada. (2013). Measuring violence against women: Statistical trends. Ottawa, ON: Minister of Industry. Pg. 33.

15Statistics Canada. (2013). Measuring violence against women: Statistical trends. Ottawa, ON: Minister of Industry. Pg. 34.

16Statistics Canada. (2006). Measuring Violence Against Women: Statistical Trends 2006. Ottawa, ON: Minister of Industry. Pg. 57.

17Statistics Canada. (2013). Measuring violence against women: Statistical trends. Ottawa, ON: Minister of Industry. Pg. 33.

18Statistics Canada. (2013). Measuring violence against women: Statistical trends. Ottawa, ON: Minister of Industry. Pg. 32.

19Statistics Canada. (2013). Measuring violence against women: Statistical trends. Ottawa, ON: Minister of Industry. Pg. 102.