Sexual assault must be located within a context of colonialism that informs how race, sexuality and gender intersect and changes the ways in which Indigenous women experience violence. An intersectional approach is critical to recognize that forms of subordination intersect in people’s experiences of violence. This intersectional lens allows for a more comprehensive understanding that identifies the issues Indigenous women face, including socio-economic issues, loss of culture, and the enduring impact of residential schools.
- Aboriginal women report violent victimization of both spousal and non-spousal violence, at a much higher rate (2.5 times) than compared to non-Aboriginal women. (1)
- According to Statistics Canada’s 2010-2011 Homicide Survey, “at least 8% of all murdered women aged 15 years and older were Aboriginal, double their representation in the Canadian population (4%).” (2)
- Aboriginal women report more severe forms of violence, including being sexually assaulted, beaten, choked, or threatened with a weapon, than non-Aboriginal women. (3)
- The RCMP found 1, 181 police-reported incidents of missing and murdered Aboriginal women (4). Of this number, 1,017 were homicides that occurred between 1980-2012, and 164 Aboriginal women are currently missing (5).
For additional resources, please refer to:
- Statistics Canada’s Measuring Violence Against Women: Statistical Trends. (2013) includes data on Aboriginal women's experience of violence.
- The Native Women’s Association of Canada’s Fact Sheet: Violence Against Aboriginal Women , which offers national statistics and a more comprehensive understanding of the experiences of abuse for Aboriginal women.
- Status of Women Canada's Violence Against Aboriginal Women (2013) fact sheet, which provides key facts and statistics to violence against Aboriginal Women.
- Femifesto’s Reporting on Sexual Assaults: A Toolkit for Canadian Media (2013) includes statistics on Aboriginal people,p. 42
- The RCMP's Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women: A National Operational Overview (2014) provides the latest numbers on missing and murdered Aboriginal women.
1) Measuring Violence Against Aboriginal Women in Measuring Violence Against Women: Statistical Trends-Key Findings, 2013, p. 1
4) RCMP (2014), p. 7
5) Ibid, p. 7
RCMP (2014) Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women: A National Operational Overview. Retrieved from: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/pubs/mmaw-faapd-eng.pdf
Sinha, M (Ed). (2013). Measuring Violence Against Women: Statistical Trends. Statistics Canada. No. 85-002-X. Retrieved from: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2013001/article/11766-eng.pdf Status of Women Canada. (2013).
Status of Women Canada (2013) Violence Against Aboriginal Women in Measuring Violence Against Women: Statistical Trends-Key Findings. Retrieved from http://www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/rc-cr/pub/violence-aboriginal-autocthone-eng.pdf