Today, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police issued “Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women: A National Operational Overview.”
Link to full report here.
Speakers at the press conference highlighted numerous disturbing statistics and then officially resolved to promote more national prevention initiatives.
The report only looked at police reported cases from 1980-2012. This means that any unreported cases, closed cases, or cases from prior to 1980 will not be represented in the statistics.
Some key finding:
- 1181 homicides and unsolved cases involved Aboriginal women. Of that number 160 were missing and 1017 were homicide victims.
- 225 of those cases remain unsolved, 105 unsolved missing women cases and 120 homicides.
- As of November 2013, 6,420 people are missing in Canada, 22% of these are missing women and of that group 11.3% are Aboriginal women.
- For women involved in the sex trade, the solve rate is only 60% for Aboriginal women and 65% for non Aboriginal women.
Aboriginal women are only 4.3% of the population, yet comprise 11.3% of total missing women cases and 16% of total female homicide cases. *Later it was mentioned that while female homicide rates are decreasing in general in Canada, there is not a similar decrease in Aboriginal female homicides. Therefore, the percentages are actually higher – more like 23% of female homicides.
89% are males, average age of 35, and the majority knew their victims. Some common characteristics: underemployed, high use of intoxicants, criminal records, and a history of violence against the victim.
The full report includes much more information, but these few statistics demonstrate what many in Indigenous communities have been saying – Indigenous or Aboriginal women comprise a disproportionate amount of missing and murdered women in Canada. These limited statistics are proof of the terrible reality that Indigenous community members have been discussing for years. Some will say that these numbers still do not truly show the full situation. It remains to be seen whether this report will signal the beginning of better cooperation among national and provincial police with Indigenous communities to protect Indigenous women and girls or if it will remain one more depressing report to be filed away and forgotten.
*As a side note, when we will we see a similar study in the United States? Where are U.S. national statistics on missing and murdered Native women?
Previous coverage of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada here.