Abuse Is Wrong In Any Culture: for First Nations and Métis people

First Nations and Métis people in Canada

"...believe it or not we are the future of history so stop living your life like it was a mystery..."

Reproduced with the permission of Christie Lee Charles, aka Miss Christie Lee

First Nations and Métis people live all across Canada—in communities, on reserves, in rural and remote regions, in towns and cities.

In every community, there are those who live in fear of violence every day—not from strangers, but from the people they love, sometimes in their own homes. Thousands of First Nations and Métis people—from young people through Elders—live with hurting bodies and broken hearts.

We know that Aboriginal women and men experience violence at higher rates than other people in Canada, and that they are more likely to know their assailant. A 2009 Statistics Canada survey found that Aboriginal (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) people are more than twice as likely to report experiencing violent victimization by someone other than their spouse as non-Aboriginal people. Aboriginal women are two and a half times more likely to be violently victimized by a current or former spouse than non-Aboriginal women. Aboriginal women also reported experiencing more severe forms of violence, with more serious injuries. A recent comprehensive review of police records conducted by the RCMP along with 300 police forces across Canada also found that Aboriginal women are over-represented as the victims of homicide, and as missing persons on record.

There are many reasons for this. Every year, though, many First Nations and Métis women and men DO choose to get help so they can leave violence and abuse behind.

It's not easy to take the first step. The everyday lives of First Nations and Métis people across Canada often include many sources of stress—such as poverty, poor health, language barriers, lack of education, inadequate housing, poor nutrition, lack of jobs or low-paying menial jobs and racism. These extra stresses make it hard to believe that change is possible.

You CAN choose to get help to break the cycle for yourself and for your children, so that your life, your children's lives and their children's lives can be different.

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