Idle No More: Race Based Abuse

Two days ago, End Race Based Law posted an OpEd to the ERBL Facebook page as well as on the ERBL blog where the writer shared her views on violence, specifically on violence against Aboriginal females.

ERBL Facebook Page (excerpt)

Facebook Excerpted Screenshots

Rather than dissect the OpEd piece, let’s take a closer look at the facts from various studies, statistics, reports, and mainstream media news articles. While some of the sources contain anecdotal or personal stories (i.e. comments from interviewees that are included in mainstream media news articles), most of the information referenced is factual data interpreted by respected and reputable professionals.

Fact #1: The most common form of violence experienced by women is physical violence inflicted by an intimate partner.

This fact comes from the United Nations report found HERE.

According to Statistics Canada, this is the most recent information (based on information collected in 2011) with regards to same-sex and opposite-sex couples in Canada.

Couples In Canada

Factual Information from Statistics Canada

In other words, there is violence happening in some of the same-sex intimate partnerships just like there is violence happening in some of the opposite-sex intimate partnerships, and Statistics Canada proves that same-sex and opposite-sex intimate relationships are recognized in Canada as being intimate relationships.

Statistics Canada information indicates that interracial couples are on the rise in Canada. Nearly 7% of all intimate relationships are in the 25-to-34 age group, followed by nearly 6% in the 16 to 24 age group. What this means is that there is violence happening in some interracial intimate relationships just like there is violence happening in some same-race intimate relationships.

Bottom line: Violence in intimate relationships does not hinge on one person being male and one person being female or on both being the same race.

Fact #2: Every six days, a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner.

This fact comes from the Statistics Canada report found HERE.

Since we now know that an intimate partner is defined as someone who is either same-sex or opposite sex, and that violence in intimate relationships does not hinge on race, this statement is a fact: Every six days, a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner.

Fact #3: Indigenous women in Canada are five times more likely than non-Indigenous women in Canada of the same age to die as the result of violence.

This fact comes from the United Nations report found HERE.

The United Nations report does not make a link between incident rate for death by violence and either marital status or race of the perpetrators of violence or murder.

The United Nations report does state that Indigenous women in Canada are violently victimized and killed at a rate that is five times greater than that for non-Indigenous women in Canada.

Fact #4: Indigenous women in Canada account for 4.3 per cent of the population in Canada, and account for 16% of homicides and 11.3% of missing women reports.

This fact comes from the RCMP report “National Operational Overview on Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women” with factual documentation from Statistics Canada as well as from almost 300 policing agencies.

The average age of a homicide offender is 35 years of age. This means that some are 35 years of age, while others are younger than 35 years of age, and still others are older than 35 years of age. In 89% of cases, the homicide offender is male. This means that in 11% of cases, the homicide offender is female.

Two out of every three homicidal offenders with a previous violent conviction will target an Aboriginal female over a non-Aboriginal female. Three out of every five homicidal offenders with a criminal record will target an Aboriginal female over a non-Aboriginal female.

But when it comes to homicidal offenders who are gainfully employed, the preferred target is non-Aboriginal women. In other words, statistics prove that non-Native women are at greater risk of being murdered if they encounter an employed homicidal offender.

If one was to apply skewed logic to that last statistic, imagine the hysteria that could be whipped up in all demographics across the board in Canada!

Fact #5: Amnesty International and the United Nations have publicly asked the Harper government to set up a national inquiry into the “disturbing phenomenon” of missing and murdered aboriginal women.

This fact comes from Amnesty International on their website HERE. This fact also comes from the report by James Anaya, the UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, found HERE.

Fact #6: If the number of missing and murdered Aboriginal females was applied proportionally to the rest of the female population in Canada, there would be over 18,000 missing Canadian women and girls.

This fact comes from “Voices of our Sisters in Spirit: A Report to Families and Communities” by the Native Women’s Association of Canada, published in 2009.

In other words, if 18,000 non-Native women in Canada were murdered or missing, there would be public outcry … and for good reason!

Would the general public demand a public inquiry be launched into finding the perpetrators and reasons for this atrocity? Of course the general public would! Any reasonable person would!

Would anyone have the audacity to tell non-Native men in Canada that there was no need for an inquiry because, in that person’s opinion, non-Native men in Canada had killed all those non-Native women in Canada ergo the question about who the perpetrators were was already answered? No. That would be an unreasonable assertion for anyone to make.

Would anyone dare tell non-Native men in Canada that non-Native women in Canada go missing because of non-Native men in Canada? Well, some might, but it would be met with disbelief and shock that anyone could make such an ignorant assertion and leverage that to dismiss any call for an inquiry into such a disturbing situation.

So why do some people feel it is their right to dismiss the seriousness of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada?

Elyse Bruce

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5 Responses to “Idle No More: Race Based Abuse”

  1. Ocean C. Maverick Says:

    It doesn’t matter how they disappeared or were MURDERED. These woman must be accounted for. Its not right that any Indigenous woman, or any other woman, be beaten, disappeared, or MURDERED and the culprit/s need to be accountable for their actions, be males or females.

  2. auntiethis Says:

    Reblogged this on auntiethis and commented:
    1. If you think “not only Indigenous women go missing” and this concerns you: DEMAND YOUR OWN INQUIRY. Don’t you care about ‘your missing people’?
    2. Statistics don’t lie.
    FACT: Indigenous women are 3 to 4 times more likely to go missing or be murdered than non-Indigenous.

    3. Most Canadians are NOT Statisticians
    FACT: Most women know their attackers
    NOT-A-FACT: This does not mean that most Indigenous women are attacked by Indigenous men. Making that assumption – that everyone’s list of acquaintances is as narrow and non-diverse as yours – is bigoted.

    There is so much more we could say on this matter, but instead, we suggest you read this great article by Elyse Bruce


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