Violence in Indigenous communities: a vicious cycle that needs to be broken
Kahnawake, February 17, 2017 – Quebec Native Women (QNW) would like to highlight the courage of the women and children who, despite facing great social pressure and many other hardships, have bravely spoken out against the situation of sexual abuse that persist within their communities on Radio-Canada “Enquete” show. QNW wishes to acknowledge the women who have stood up and spoken out for the well-being and future of their people.
QNW is very cognizant of the violence many Indigenous women and children face and strongly condemns violence in all forms. QNW would like to emphasize that we stand with and support every women who experiences violence. The organization would also like to remind the public of the importance of believing a person who reports sexual assault, whether that person is an adult, a teenager, a child, a woman or a man. Sexual assault is an act that must be taken very seriously regardless of the title, employment or position of authority occupied by the alleged perpetrator. The seriousness of the revelations reported in “Enquete” demonstrates the urgency of breaking the cycle of violence in Indigenous communities.
This show has also brought attention to the need to evaluate and restructure the operations of indigenous police forces. Many police forces fall under jurisdiction of Band Councils, which we believe can contribute to serious conflicts of interest. Compounding the issue is the underfunding of these services, resulting in an inadequate response to the needs and safety of the population. QNW calls upon all stakeholders to work with the communities to end this vicious cycle. In order to enable Indigenous communities to recover from these traumas, it will be necessary to tackle the source of the issue and find a sustainable solution.
“Violence in our communities is a vicious cycle that needs to be broken for good to ensure a healthier life for future generations. Concrete actions must be taken so people can feel safe and supported when reporting violence. QNW recommends a mandatory training on family and sexual violence for all those in positions of authority and working with Indigenous people. The safety and well-being of our children is all our responsibility and it is all our responsibility to protect them! ” – Viviane Michel, president of QNW.
Laureanne Fontaine, Communication Officer
Tel.: 450-632-0088 ex. 232