In 2011, Statistics Canada reported that domestic violence was highest in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
This week, a survey released by Leger Marketing underlined that the problem may be getting worse, instead of better.
Eight percent of Alberta men responded positively to a survey question, when asked: "Is it okay to hit a woman when you're angry?"
One in eleven said that's fine. Walk through your neighborhood and count the houses-that average would be about one house on every single block, where someone thinks domestic violence is a reasonable reaction to anger.
I admit, I have spanked my kids when frustrated, and that's all on me. The feeling after that happens is a guilt I can't escape.
Twenty-one percent of men in the survey, however, think slapping a child's face when he misbehaves is just fine. The Premier of Alberta, Alison Redford, was shocked at these results.
"I think that is very troubling, and as a mother of a nine-year-old, I want us to do better as a community," she said. "We have to start saying to people that this behaviour is inappropriate...it's not acceptable in Alberta in 2012."
It's not acceptable. Not in the least. Beating my wife? Because I'm angry? What?
A friend of mine had an interesting reaction to the survey. Never mind the eight percent of men being okay with hitting a woman, he's confused as to why anyone would think it's okay to hit anyone, at anytime.
Hitting someone because you're angry is wrong-be it your husband, wife, girlfriend, son, best friend, idiot at the bar-it doesn't matter. Having a disagreement and then punching someone over it is wrong.
But the violence statistic is just the headline on the survey. It becomes more disturbing, when nearly half of the male respondents said that a woman is asking to be sexually assaulted depending on how she dresses. Forty-eight percent agreed with the following: "If a woman wears provocative clothing, she's putting herself at risk for rape."
A year ago, Slut Walks were held across the country after a Toronto Police Constable said: "Women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized."
The results of the survey were released at Breakfast With the Guys, a meeting held to help empower men to step in and stop violence before it occurs, or to reach out and help when they recognize the signs.
Last year, I was homeless for a night to raise money for the YWCA. Many nights of the year, they're full to capacity because of women fleeing violence.
Often, women will stay in the home and continue to be beaten by their partners, hoping that they can take the brunt of their abuse instead of their children. It takes a lot for a woman to leave an abusive situation.
If you want a real time experience of the violence that still exists, follow the #ididnotreport hashtag. London Feminist started a movement this week, where women are sharing assaults they experienced and did not report. To follow the stream is shocking, saddening, and heartbreaking.
As a husband and father, I'm consistently embarrassed that my gender gets painted with this brush, but apparently we (men) haven't figured it out yet.