ARTICLES,Diversity and Mental HealthMarch 08, 2023

Why Indigenous Women Need to Be a Focus When Talking about Domestic Violence in Canada

When discussing domestic or intimate partner violence and abuse, it is essential to highlight the unique risks that Indigenous women in this country face. The impacts of violence and abuse against women are wide ranging and certainly impact mental health and wellness. Access to psychological treatment both in-person and virtually are needed as well as attempts to address the systemic barriers and stigma that prevent Indigenous women and girls from accessing services. It is important to know the gravity of the violence that Indigenous women face.

Nearly two out of three Indigenous females over the age of 15 experience abuse in an intimate relationship.

To further highlight the risks to Indigenous females, Canadian statistics suggest that Indigenous females are between 5 to 7 times more likely to die by homicide or violence than the non-Indigenous population. In Ontario, Indigenous women were estimated to experience domestic violence at rates over 2.5X compared to the non-Indigenous population (Ontario Native Women’s Association).

As high as these statistics are, they likely underreport the threats to Indigenous women since 6 out of 10 violent incidents against Indigenous people go unreported.

This level of violence against Indigenous women and girls warrants a level of attention and outrage we have not yet seen. These statistics are not well known. Want to help? Listen. Learn. Support. Speak out and share.

We stand with Indigenous women, Indigenous girls and their families in their pursuit of justice.