Childhood Victimization and internal migration in Canada

Cary Wu, York University; Jagdeep Heir, York University

A growing body of literature has highlighted the importance of taking a life course perspective in understanding why people migrate. In this article, we consider how childhood victimization might affect internal migration among Canadians and why.  Analyzing data from Canadian General Social Survey (2014), we generate three main findings. First, childhood victimization significantly increases the odds of moving away from home province. Second, while there is no significant difference in the effect between sexual and physical abuse, type of abuser matters, and parental victimization during childhood has the strongest effect. Third, childhood victimization leads to higher fear of crime, lower sense of belonging, higher perception of being unsafe, lower general well-being, but these factors explain little away the effect of childhood victimization on emigration. The findings of this research demonstrate that people’s migratory behavior is deeply rooted in their life course. Future research can explore further the specific processes that underlie the long-term impact of childhood victimization on emigration.

This paper will be presented at the following session: