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Wife battering and Canadian law

Updated on October 27, 2013

BATTERY is aggravated assault.

What is wife battering?

Wife battering comes under the umbrella of domestic violence where a person inflicts intentionally and voluntarily bodily harm on another person. Commonly, a husband beats up his wife or partner. More so, it also refers to physical harm or damage to the property of wife or partner which is dear to her or closely associated to her like a pet or car. Battery can occur not just by causing physical harm or damage but also can be caused with the help of other means like hitting a stone, or beating up with a bat or hitting spouse's car with ones own car.

Wife battery is slightly different from assault where husband causes intentionally a fear or apprehension by any act that is offensive to the wife or partner.


Canadian Law (Source: http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng)

Wife battery is a criminal offence that comes under the Canada Criminal Code. Section 268 implicitly states that wife battery (aggravated assault) is a criminal office. Here, I am going to provide all the sections under which a person can be charged for wife battery.

Assault Section 265 states that a person commits an assault when he applies force, directly or indirectly on another person and attempts to threaten by either act of gesture thereby influencing or forcing the other person to comply and applies to sexual assault with or without a weapon, threats to a 3rd party or causing bodily harm, aggravated sexual assault. Where the accuse alleges that the victim consented to the assault, the decision rests with the jury after examining the evidence provided.

Assault Section 266 states that Every one who commits an assault is guilty of offence that is liable to imprisonment of not more than 5 years

Assault with weapon or causing bodily harm Section 267 states that Every one who commits assault and uses a weapon, even if it is imitation, causes physical harm or damage is guilty of offence and punishable to imprisonment of not more than 10 years

Aggravated assault Section 268 states that a person commits aggravated assault if that person wounds, maims, disfigures or endangers the life of the complainant. Such person is liable to imprisonment of not more than 14 years

Unlawfully causing bodily harm Section 269 states that if a person unlawfully causes bodily harm, then that person is liable for imprisonment for term not more than 10 years


In your opinion how many households are affected by domestic violence related to spouse?

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Once beaten, but why?

Often, when interviewed by peace officers as to how it started, the most common answers given by the victim are:

  • Because he had a shitty day
  • Because he was pissed off
  • Because I argued with him
  • Because he said it was all my fault
  • Because he was depressed

Wife battering-a common denominator in all ethnicities

Whether the person is new to canada or born in Canada, wife battering is not affixed to a peculiar cast or ethnicity. Many social and financial issues lead to wife battering. These may be:

  • Cultural norms that permits males to do be right all the time
  • Domestic violence environment when one is growing up
  • Financial constraints and related depressions
  • Psychological factors
  • Other

There have been many studies conducted and plans made to cater to the growing violence in the society towards women, however, this one category of domestic violence has been targeted most. Nevertheless, the crimes against women in their homes have been increasing as per the statistics.

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