The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, RCMP, have released a Public Service Announcement (PSA) aimed at raising awareness about a crucial Canadian issue: violence against women and girls. Featuring Inuk NHL player Jordin Tootoo, the PSA urges men and boys to be part of the solution and stop the generational cycle of violence. Tootoo is from Rankin Inlet,Nunavut.
“I’m really pleased to be a part of this initiative,” says Tootoo. “We definitely need to bring more awareness to this issue that unfortunately exists in some of our communities.”
Tootoo skates around a rink and plays hockey with some young players from Alberta’s Fort McKay First Nation in the video. He urges men and boys to be proactive in his message. “We all have a role to play in preventing violence against women and girls.”
In 2014, the RCMP released Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women: A National Operational Overview, the most comprehensive statistical analysis of police-reported incidents of missing and murdered Indigenous women to date. An update in 2015 confirmed the findings of the Overview and provided statistics on more recent cases.
“Our 2015 Update confirmed the unmistakable connection between homicide and family violence, and that Indigenous women continue to be overrepresented among Canada’s missing and murdered women,” says RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson. “We’re committed to working with our partners across Canada to resolve unsolved cases and to raise awareness about this issue.”
The 2015 Update’s key findings include:
Indigenous women (and all female victims regardless of ethnicity) are most frequently killed by someone they know.
Offenders were known to their victims in 100% of solved homicide cases of Indigenous women, and in 93% of solved homicide cases of non-Aboriginal women in RCMP jurisdictions in 2013 and 2014.
Indigenous female homicides continue to be solved at a high rate. In 2013 and 2014, 81% of murders of Indigenous women have been solved in RCMP jurisdictions (compared to 83% for non-Indigenous women).
“Missing and murdered indigenous women and girls, and family violence, are issues that matter a lot to the government. We all have a serious responsibility to raise awareness and to make our homes and communities healthy and safe,” says Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.
‘The RCMP works with its partners to emphasize healthy familial relationships to mitigate violence against Indigenous women, and to contribute to their increased safety and well-being. The RCMP also continues to support violence prevention programs in Indigenous communities, and to develop awareness initiatives aimed at breaking the cycle of violence.’