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Spousal abuse: Most don't tell police

OTTAWA, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- Seventy-eight percent of Canadian spousal-abuse victims do not tell police, even though 1 in 16 was abused multiple times, official figures indicated Thursday.

Of nearly 19 million Canadians who had a current or former spouse in 2009, 6.2 percent, or 1.2 million, reported being physically or sexually abused in the previous five years, Statistics Canada reported.

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But victims were less likely to report this violence to police compared with five years ago, said the agency, responsible for producing societal, economic and cultural statistics.

Twenty-two percent of spousal violence victims reported the violence to police in 2009, down from 2004's 28 percent, the agency said.

Of those who did, 89 percent said they did it to stop the violence and receive protection, and 63 percent said they contacted police only after being abused more than once.

Twenty-three percent of female violence victims said they went to police compared with 7 percent of men. Thirty-one percent said they wanted their partner arrested and punished.

Of those who didn't go to police, 82 percent said they considered the incident personal, the agency said.

Domestic violence was four times more likely to occur between ex-spouses or partners than current spouses or partners, Statistics Canada said.

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Women reported violence with beatings, chokings or threats with guns and knives three times more than men.

The abuse rate was highest among young adults, age 25 to 34.

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