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Rates of violent crime against women in the North triple those in rest of Canada

Iqaluit, Nunavut is shown in a Saturday, April 25, 2015 file photo.  .
Iqaluit, Nunavut is shown in a Saturday, April 25, 2015 file photo. . THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this report stated the survey looked at rates of police-reported violent crime in Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. However, the data also includes the northern parts of B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador. This story has been updated to reflect the full scope of the data in the survey.

The rate of violent crime against women and girls in Canada’s North is three times as high as the rates in the rest of the country.

A new survey by Statistics Canada of police-reported violent crime in Yukon, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and the northern parts of B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador shows that in 2017, 12,036 girls and women below the age of 24 reported being the victims of violent crime in the North. That translates to a rate of 3,643 victims per 100,000 people.

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In comparison, the rate of violent crime for women and girls in the rest of the country is 1,235 per 100,000 people.

For boys in the North, the rate is 2,090 victims per 100,00 people, putting the rate of violent crime against women and girls in the region almost double the risk faced by their male counterparts.

Women and girls between the ages of 18 and 24 in the North were the most likely to be victims of violent crime.

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Of the crimes reported to police, roughly 63 per cent were physical assaults while 24 per cent were sexual offences.

Another 10 per cent were criminal harassment or related to other kinds of threats.

Women under the age of 24 also made up a larger proportion of homicide victims than their counterparts in the rest of the country.

Thirty-one per cent of homicide victims in the North were women and girls, while the percentage for the rest of the country was 24 per cent.

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As with violent crime victims in the southern parts of the country, most victims in the North knew their assailant.

The rate was slightly higher for those in the North compared to the rest of the country, with 95 per cent of northern victims saying they knew their attacker compared to 92 per cent of victims in the southern regions.

And while victims in the North were more likely to “see their assailant identified by police in connection with the incident” compared to those in the southern regions, there was virtually no difference in the proportion of criminal charges laid by police as a result.

Roughly 70 per cent of the violent crime reports in both the North and the rest of the country result in charges.