Aboriginal women three times more likely to be victims of violent crime

The proportion of Aboriginal women who reported spousal violence was about two and a half times higher than the proportion of non-Aboriginal women.

Ottawa (17 May 2011) - Nearly 67,000, or 13% of Aboriginal women aged 15 or older who lived in the provinces, self-reported they had been the victim of one or more violent crimes, according to Statistics Canada’s 2009 General Social Survey (GSS) on Victimization, which was released today. Violent crimes measured by the GSS include sexual assault, robbery and physical assault.

The rate of self-reported violent victimization among Aboriginal women was almost three times higher than the rate reported by non-Aboriginal women. The majority of violent incidents reported by Aboriginal women were committed by males who were acting alone.

Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of Aboriginal female victims were aged 15 to 34, yet this age group accounted for just under half (47 percent) of the female Aboriginal population (aged 15 or older) living in the 10 provinces. Young females were also highly represented among non-Aboriginal victims.

One of the unique aspects of the GSS is that it captures information on whether crimes are reported to police. Three-quarters (76 percent) of violent incidents involving Aboriginal women that were committed by someone other than a spouse or common-law partner were not reported to the police, compared with 70 percent for non-Aboriginal women.

he GSS also collected data on spousal violence, based on incidents of physical and sexual assault, which occurred in the five years prior to the survey.

he proportion of Aboriginal women who reported spousal violence by a current or former spouse was about two and a half times higher than the proportion of non-Aboriginal women.

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