02/25/2013 09:12 EST | Updated 04/27/2013 05:12 EDT

Attacks on women fell between 2009 and 2011, but rate still higher than for men

OTTAWA - Statistics Canada says police reports show that just over 173,600 women aged 15 and older were victims of violent crime in 2011, a rate of 1,207 victims for every 100,000 women in the population.

However, the agency says rates of police-reported physical assaults against women, including common assaults and serious physical assaults, fell five per cent to 705 victims per 100,000 women between 2009 and 2011.

The data also show a drop in rates of attempted murders against women over this same three-year period.

The agency says police reports show the rate of violent crime against women was about five per cent higher than the rate for men in 2011, although women were 11 times more likely than men to be a victim of sexual offences and three times more likely to be the victim of criminal harassment.

In 2011, police reported about 78,000 incidents of violence against women by current or previous intimate partners and the overall rate of intimate partner violence against women was 542 per 100,000 women, almost four times higher than the rate for men.

Common assaults accounted for about half of all police-reported violent crimes against women, followed by uttering threats (13 per cent) serious physical assaults (10 per cent), sexual assaults involving little to no physical injury (seven per cent) and criminal harassment or stalking, (seven per cent).