Nunavut family violence strategy by year’s end: Aariak

Plan to stress prevention, root causes


Premier Eva Aariak, in a July 5 news release committed the government of Nunavut to drafting a family violence strategy by the end of 2011 to help lower rates of violence against women.

Aariak shared the territory’s priorities at a meeting of federal, provincial and territorial ministers for the status of women held this week in Gatineau, Que.

“One such priority is to complete a Nunavut Family Violence Strategy by the end of this calendar year, and it is a goal to which the minister of Health and Social Services and I are fully committed,” Aariak said in the news release.

“The (meeting) also provided an opportunity to share with other jurisdictions Nunavut’s success stories, such as the Spousal Abuse Counseling Program, the work of the Pulaarvik Kablu Friendship Centre (Rankin Inlet) the Victim Assistance Fund, and the very successful Arnait Nipingit: Women’s Leadership Summit.”

Aariak first announced the family violence strategy in December 2010.

It stemmed from a 2006 symposium called Inuuqatigiitsiarniq, where more than 100 Nunavummiut participants said the solution to violence must come from within communities.

The group put forward 78 recommendations which will be used to build an action plan.

Aariak said the plan will address “social concerns at their roots and [improve] health through prevention.”

The meeting she spoke at was part of the larger 2011 Women’s World Summit, where Aariak was chosen as a panelist for a discussion on leadership in politics and the corporate and business sectors.

Now in its 30th year, the women’s summit brings together researchers, policy-makers and activists from around the world to discuss women’s rights and empowerment.

Alongside the meetings, about a thousand women marched on Parliament Hill July 5 to bring light to the hundreds of missing and murdered aboriginal women across Canada.

Roughly a quarter of all First Nations, Métis and Inuit women have been the victim of spousal abuse.

Marchers estimate that more than 500 aboriginal women and girls remain missing today.

In Nunavut, 28 per cent of women are victims of spousal violence, compared to seven per cent in the provinces.
A 2006 Statistics Canada report showed that per capita rates of shelter use are much higher in the territories than in the provinces, with Nunavut having the highest shelter usage per capita.
The rate of shelter use in Nunavut on a single day was 10 times higher than in any of the provinces.

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