Violence against women is a not an uncommon thing. However, violence against women from certain groups tend to have a higher percentage than others, so suggests a Statistics Canada study released in May where it measured the violent victimizations of Aboriginal women.
The 2009 General Social Survey (GSS) on victimization stated that about 13 per cent or about 67,000 Aboriginal women who were aged 15 or older and lived in the provinces have self-reported that in the 12 months before taking the survey, they were victims of violent crimes on more than one occasion.
The types of crimes that the study was investigating were sexual assault, robbery, and physical assault.
An interesting stat to point out is that the rate that was reported by non-Aboriginal women was 3 times less than the rate of Aboriginal women. Also, crimes in which a spouse or common-law partner was not involved and which was not reported to the police had a rate of 70 per cent for non-Aboriginal women as compared to 76 per cent for Aboriginal women.
Why is there such a big difference in the rates between Aboriginal women and non-Aboriginal women? In my opinion, I believe that the difference was created by the history of the two groups. Most non-Aboriginal people didn’t have to attend a school system that demoralized them; for the most part they had the opportunity to stay with their parents and attended good schools which created an environment that aided their growth as a person. The majority of Aboriginals on the other hand, were forced or tricked by the propaganda into attending residential schools. Because of the horrible experience in these schools, where students were treated badly and abused by the teachers, they didn’t get the opportunity to be kids, and to interact with other kids and have fun. But the most important aspect of this is that residential school students didn’t receive a parent figure to take care of them and show them how to be a good parent and/or a good human being. Instead, they were harassed and taken advantage of by the staff at the schools. Because of these factors, it has left a legacy where many Aboriginal peoples do not know how to behave in certain situations, so they use violence or aggression – a behaviour that they learned from the residential school staff.
Another interesting rate is that 63 per cent of Aboriginal women who are self-reported as victims fall into the age group of 15 years old to 34 years old. This group accounts for 47 per cent of the female Aboriginal population.
The study also reported that most of the committers of the crimes were males who acted alone. The study added that the rate of spousal violence by a current or former partner was two and half times higher than women who are not Aboriginal peoples.
These stats and the difference in the rates are very interesting, but how would you analyze why the rates for Aboriginal women are higher than non-Aboriginal women?
For more information, check out the original study from Statistics Canada.
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