What is violence against native/indigenous/aboriginal women?

Across the world, 1 in 3 (35%) of women experience physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime.[1] However, while gender-based violence affects all women, Native/Indigenous/Aboriginal women are far more likely to face violence than non-indigenous women.

Types of violence against Native/Indigenous/Aboriginal women and girls include:

The factors that contribute to the extremely high rates of violence against native/indigenous/aboriginal women include (but are not limited to):

Some hard facts about violence against native/indigenous/aboriginal women:

Factors hindering effective prevention and intervention in violence against Native/Indigenous/Aboriginal women

While Native/Indigenous/Aboriginal women face the similar consequences from violence against women (VAW) that other women do [10], they  are even less likely to report VAW and to receive help or healthcare due to their marginalised status. In addition, women residing in rural areas are less likely to report VAW, possibly due to poor access to social, legal, transportation, and health services.

If Native/Indigenous/Aboriginal women do report VAW, they face the following barriers to intervention and justice: [5]

  • Delays and failure of authorities to respond – there is often a lack of resources for policing on tribal lands
  • Inadequate and inappropriate policing – police still blame the woman and victims have no access to a female police officer
  • Lack of trained authorities – there is inadequate training of officials and federal, state and tribal levels on how to respond to sexual violence or jurisdictional issues, and lack of training for non-indigenous authorities on working with Indigenous people and understanding cultural norms

Footnotes and Further Reading

  1. “Violence against women”, World Health Organisation
  2. “Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women: Resources and Information”, Heidi Heitkamp, United States Senator for North Dakota
  3. “Human rights groups call on Canada to end coerced sterilisations of native women”, The Guardian
  4. “Indigenous Peoples”, Amnesty International
  5. “Report to the Human Rights Council, 2015. Rights of indigenous women and girls”, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
  6. “Global Study on Homicide 2018 – Gender-related killing of women and girls”, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
  7. “Background on the inquiry”, Indigenous and Northern Affairs, Government of Canada (archived from the original)
  8. “Capturing realities of Indigenous rural women in Ecuador”, World Food Programme
  9. “The National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022”, Department of Social Services, Australian Government
  10. “About Violence Against Women”, The Pixel Project

Video Credits and Further Viewing

  1. “Vanished: Canada’s Missing Women” by SBS Dateline, Australia