Violence Against Women Essay

1707 words - 7 pages

Aboriginal women and girls are strong and beautiful. Unfortunately, they often face life-threatening, gender-based violence and disproportionately experience violent crimes because of hatred and racism (Fact Sheet: Violence Against Aboriginal Women , 2013). According to Statistics Canada, Aboriginal woman are three to five times more likely to experience violence than non-Aboriginal women (Fact Sheet: Violence Against Aboriginal Women , 2013). Fortunately, this frightening trend has been noticed and interventions such as the Sisters In Spirit social movement and Kanawayhitowin Campaign have been created to assist in diminishing these violent events.
It is important to first explore the violence against Aboriginal women that occurs before assessing the effectiveness of interventions. Aside from being more likely to experience violence, Aboriginal women also experience severe violence more often, 54% of Aboriginal women versus 37% of non-Aboriginal women (Fact Sheet: Violence Against Aboriginal Women , 2013). They also fear for their lives 44% of the time, which is 11% higher than for non-Aboriginal women (Fact Sheet: Violence Against Aboriginal Women , 2013). Regardless of the statistic, Aboriginal woman regularly experienced higher rates. Furthermore, while the number of non-Aboriginal women reporting the most severe forms of violence declined from 43% in 1999 to 37% in 2004, the number of similar attacks against Aboriginal women remained unchanged at 54% during the same time period (Fact Sheet: Violence Against Aboriginal Women , 2013) demonstrating the need for interventions.
In the past, Aboriginals have been treated as uncivilized, and socially, culturally and intellectually inferior. They were treated as savages and it correlates that the hate and pain experienced by Aboriginal people is the foundation for the violence that is displayed and experienced. Aboriginal women in Canada have historically been devalued not only as Aboriginal people but also simply because they are women (Fact Sheet: Root Causes of Violence Against Aboriginal Women and the Impact of Colonization, 2013). Early colonial writings described Aboriginal women as, “Indian princesses”, however, resistance to colonization led to the invention of “squaws” – dirty, lewd, uncivilized and sexually deviant women (Fact Sheet: Root Causes of Violence Against Aboriginal Women and the Impact of Colonization, 2013). Regardless of the description of Aboriginal women, the message remained that they were sexually available which removed men from taking responsibility. To this day, many Aboriginal women and girls are forced into situations or coping strategies that increase their vulnerability to violence, such as hitchhiking, addictions, homelessness, prostitution and other sex work, gang involvement, or abusive relationships (Fact Sheet: Root Causes of Violence Against Aboriginal Women and the Impact of Colonization, 2013).
Currently, interventions that are most successful in...

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