Are Women Often Charged With Assault?

February 23rd, 2024
Are Women Often Charged With Assault?

The short answer to the question in the title of today’s blog article is “no”. Women are not often charged with assault, and today we are going to talk about women and crime.

Assault and other types of violent crime are most often committed by men both in Canada and elsewhere in the world. Violent crime is considered a “gendered” crime where the vast majority of the perpetrators are men, and the vast majority of the victims are women.

In Canada, women most often commit nonviolent crimes such as drug crimes, fraud, and property crime. Women also commit fewer crimes than men in almost every category. Nevertheless, women tend to go to jail more often than men for similar less violent crimes, and the reasons for this are beyond the scope of this article.

While we know that men most often commit sexual assault and domestic assault, and women are most often the victims, we do not have accurate statistics on those crimes because they are vastly underreported in every culture. By some estimates, only 10 percent of sexual and domestic assaults are reported to the police, and the police are the source of most crime statistics.

The risk factors for women evolving to commit crimes are similar to the risk factors for men: lack of parental supervision, lack of family or community support, mental health problems not addressed appropriately or at all, and employment challenges. Socio-economic factors may amplify the risk factors noted above and may also contribute to poor nutrition, lack of after-school care, and depression. There seems to be a vicious circle, and newer government support programs are aimed at alleviating some of these risk factors.

Gagan Nahal is a criminal defence lawyer based in Surrey, British Columbia, although he has represented clients across Canada. He works vigorously and tirelessly defending his clients.

If you have any questions about this article or you would like to talk to Mr. Nahal, please call him directly at (604) 527-4769.