Indigenous women

  • 54% of Indigenous women reported severe forms of family violence compared to 37% of non-Aboriginal women
  • RCMP reports that 1181 cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada have occurred between 1980 through 2012.
    • It is likely that the number far exceeds this, as there are many unreported cases. Grassroots organizers and the Minister of the Status of Women report that the number is closer to 4000.
  • Indigenous women are killed at a rate, which is 6x that of non-Indigenous women.
  • Rates of childhood sexual abuse in some communities is as high as 80% for girls under the age of eight


  • ½ of all women experience at least 1 incident of physical or sexual violence since age 16.

Persons living with a disability

  • Women who live with physical or cognitive impairment experience violence at rates, which care 2-3x higher than those who live without such impairment
  • 60% of women with a disability will experience some form of violence in their lifetime

Racialized women

  • Research has demonstrated that when women of colour report violence, their experiences are taken less seriously within the criminal justice system, and their perpetrators regularly receive less harsh punishments.


  • Canadians who define themselves as homosexual or bisexual are 2x more likely to experience sexual assault than those who define themselves as heterosexual.
  • Trans people are particularly vulnerable, especially trans women of colour.
    • Trans folks experience violence at a higher rate


  • Women are at greater risk of experiences elder abuse at the hands of a family member and account for 60% of all senior survivors of family violence

Rural and Northern Women

  • Women in the territories were 8x more likely to experience violence than women in the provinces
  • Women in remote communities also face particular challenges on the accessibility and availability of support services.

Newly arrived and immigrant women

  • Available statistics do not show that immigrant women are more likely to be victims of spousal violence than non-immigrant women
  • Isolation, racism, language or cultural barriers may make reporting or access supports more difficult

Young Women

  • Young women are found to be at the highest risk of violence
  • Women between 15-24 experience violence at a rate of 42% higher than those between 25-34, and almost double the rate of women between 35-44.
  • Online harassment are most prevalent amongst young women ages 18 through 24

Women fleeing domestic violence

  • On any given night there are more than 6,000 women and children sleeping in shelters because their home is not safe
  • Another 300 are turned away because shelters are full
  • 96% of the alleged perpetrators of sexual offenses are still male: of these, 75% are men and 25% boys


  • 1 in 6 men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime
  • 96% of the alleged perpetrators of sexual offenses are still male: of these, 75% are men and 25% boys (Statistiques policières du ministère de la Sécurité publique)

What is the difference between Sex Work and Sex Trafficking?

  • Human trafficking is an egregious human rights violation involving the threat or use of force, abduction, deception, or other forms of coercion for the purpose of exploitation
  • This may include forced labour, sexual exploitation, slavery, and more
  • Sex work, on the other hand, is a consensual transaction between adults, where the act of selling or buying sexual services is not a violation of human rights
  • Sex worker organization oppose exploitation and recognize that sex worker organization can be well positioned to refer victims of trafficking to appropriate services
  • Conflating trafficking with sex work can be harmful
  • Many anti-trafficking initiative

Sex Trafficking:

  • Women and girls’ bodies are bought and sold unconsensually in exchange for money that the women and girls’ will never see or profit from.
  • Sex trafficking is a form of human trafficking that “uses threats, force, deception, and the abuse of power to recruit women and girls into sexual exploitation”. In human trafficking, women are exploited to produce a profit.
  • Worldwide, 98% of sex trafficking victims are women and girls. This global phenomenon is happening right here in Canada too. Most girls are recruited into this industry from the age of 14, which in Canada, produce over $280,000 in profits annually. The biggest risk factor of being brought into this industry as being a girl.
  • Human trafficking is a consequence of the prevalence of gender based violence, whereby society has normalized the objectification of girls and women.

Sex Work

  • Sex workers may experience “displacement and isolation” which can magnify the violence that they experience. For more information on sex workers, see here.
  • Sex work is illegal in Canada, but it differs from human trafficking
  • The high stigmatization of sex work can discourage reporting, concentrating violence amongst sex workers. The World Health Organization reported in 2013 that “fear of arrest or harassment by policy may force street-based sex workers to move to locations that are less visible or secure, or pressure them into hurried negotiations with clients that may compromise their ability to assess risks to their own safety”

  • Sex workers further experience greater sexual health related violence, as they are at greater risk of sexually transmitted infections and HIV infection, stemming from inconsistent condom use. This can be the consequence of non-consensual condom use occurring. Financial instability can also cause an individual to not be able to financially afford and access safe sex items.

  • An intersectional approach to sex-work must also be adopted, as Indigenous women, women of colour, LGBTQQ2S+, and women with disabilities are at higher risk of violence.

Violence Against Girls

Violence against girls and women can begin at any age. Frequently, gender-based violence against girls is perpetuated within a girl’s home, by their own family members. However, as girls grow older, their exposure to activities outside of their home increases, putting them at higher risk to experience gender-based violence from non-family members.

Violence against young girls is particularly concerning, as research shows that girls who experience violence at an early stage in life experience long-term consequences on health.


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