Violent victimization of Aboriginal people in the provinces

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According to the 2009 General Social Survey (GSS) on Victimization, Aboriginal people age 15 years and older reported 173,600 incidents involving sexual assault, robbery or physical assault committed by someone other than a spouse or common-law partner.

This represents 12% of Aboriginal people in this age group who were living in the provinces. This proportion is more than double the 5% of non-Aboriginal people who reported that they had been a victim of one of these violent crimes.

Of the three violent crimes examined, physical assaults were most commonly reported by Aboriginal people. They were about three times as likely as non-Aboriginal people to report being sexually assaulted, and nearly twice as likely to report that they had been physically assaulted.

One of the unique aspects about the GSS is that it captures information on whether criminal incidents were reported to police. About 26% of Aboriginal victims said they reported incidents of the three violent crimes to police, compared with 29% of non-Aboriginal people.

The GSS also examined spousal violence, that is, the incidence of sexual assaults and physical assaults committed either by a spouse or a common-law partner.

About 10% of Aboriginal people reported that they were a victim of spousal violence in the five years prior to the survey, compared with 6% of non-Aboriginal people.

Note: This Juristat article presents self-reported information from the 2009 General Social Survey on Victimization on the personal experiences of Aboriginal people living in the provinces with respect to crime, particularly violent crime. It analyses the characteristics associated with such incidents, including the socio-demographic risk factors, consequences of victimization, reasons for reporting (and not reporting) incidents to police, perceptions of personal safety and perceptions of the criminal justice system. In addition, it presents information on Aboriginal victims and persons accused of homicide.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 4504.

The Juristat article "Violent victimization of Aboriginal people in the Canadian provinces, 2009", (85-002-X, free), is now available. From the Key resource module of our website under Publications, choose All subjects, then Crime and Justice, and Juristat.

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Information and Client Services (toll-free 1-800-387-2231; 613-951-9023), Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics.