Ending Violence Against Indigenous Women as a Step Toward Empowerment – Event

Link to the announcement here

TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER:

Ending Violence Against Indigenous Women as a Step Towards Empowerment

SAVE THE DATE

Wednesday, March 15, 2017
10:30 a.m.

Salvation Army
221 E 52nd St.
(Downstairs Room)
New York, NY 10022

Join us to recognize, strengthen, and honor the global movement to end violence against indigenous women.

Indigenous women around the world experience disproportionate levels of violence and murder and multiple, intersecting forms of discrimination because they are indigenous and because they are women. Too often, national justice systems fail to respond to this violence, leaving women without protection or meaningful access to justice. In this event, indigenous women leaders will speak to the situation of violence against indigenous women in the United States and Guatemala.

• Learn about barriers to safety facing American Indian and Alaska Native women in the United States, and their successes in restoring indigenous sovereignty to address violence against women.

• Learn about the grassroots movement to stop the trafficking of indigenous women in the United States.

• Learn about the spectrum of violence facing Mayan women in Guatemala and their strategies of resistance.

Panelists will also discuss strategies for urging states to advance the rights of indigenous peoples and women affirmed in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

For more information, email Jana L. Walker, at jwalker@indianlaw.org.

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RCMP Report on Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women Shows Disproportionate Rates of Homicide and Missing Women Cases

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.

Disproportionate Impact:

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.

Perpetrators:

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.