Rate of violence against women substantially higher in North
StatsCan says Nunavut has a rate almost 13 times the national average
Violence against women in all three territories is substantially higher than anywhere else in Canada, according to new numbers from Statistics Canada.
The rate of violence against women in the Northwest Territories in 2011 was nine times higher than the national average. In Nunavut, the rate was nearly 13 times higher for the same year. The rate was more than four times the national average in Yukon.
Marilyn Napier, the president of the Native Women's Association of the Northwest Territories, said she is astonished at what Statistics Canada found.
"It’s unbelievable, but I know it’s true," she said.
Napier said violence in the North won't go away until other problems are addressed
"People are living in poverty, people are struggling, and when they struggle it becomes violent because they are living at a poverty level, they are confused, and they are angry, they can’t get ahead."
Napier said drugs and alcohol also contribute to violence in the North, but she also puts the onus on the abused women, saying they need to reach out more.
There are some options for women who are victims of violence, including some emergency shelters and victims’ services.
The Alison McAteer house, which is run by the YWCA in Yellowknife, and the RCMP can also help women get an Emergency Protection Order, which lets the abused woman stay in her house and forces the abusive partner to leave.
Even with these measures, Napier said it’s just not enough.
"There's just not the funding out there anymore to help the people with the awareness and the campaigns."
The report also found that violence against aboriginal women in the provinces was about 2.5 times higher than the rate for non-Aboriginal women.
For domestic violence, injury was more prevalent among Aboriginal female victims.