Local women who are physically abused by their partners are almost three times as likely to face either a weapon or the threat of a weapon than the national average, according to a new two-year study.
“It’s something I think is a very important finding that we as a community really need to look into more deeply, what this is about, because the use or the threat of a weapon is also linked to a much higher level of fear,” said research co-ordinator May Tettero. “It just ups the ante quite a bit.”
Feelings of shame, concerns about losing control over their life if the social and legal systems get involved and a lack of anonymity in small communities may also prevent some women from seeking help or even talking about such abuse, she said.
The study group, made up of 95 women whose partners were registered with The Men’s Program, were divided into one group of 30 women who live in Owen Sound; the rest were included in a group considered rural for the purposes of the study
“We found that the use or threat with a weapon was significantly higher in the rural area,” Tettero said. “That doesn’t prove anything, but it makes us think that perhaps there is a relationship between that form of abuse within a relationship and abuse in rural areas.”