Study: Violent victimization of Aboriginal women

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According to the 2009 General Social Survey (GSS) on Victimization, 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 in the 12 months prior to the survey. 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%) of Aboriginal female victims were aged 15 to 34, yet this age group accounted for just under half (47%) 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%) 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% for non-Aboriginal women.

The 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.

The 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.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 4504.

The Juristat article "Violent victimization of Aboriginal women 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.