Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

February-14-13

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Under Scrutiny For Abuse of Aboriginal Women

In a report released on Wednesday, Human Rights Watch (HRW) found that many aboriginal women in British Columbia have been the victims of discrimination, aggressive use of police force, and even sexual assault by members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

The report, titled "Those Who Take Us Away," features in depth interviews with 50 aboriginal women along the "Highway of Tears" in British Columbia where numerous aboriginal women have gone missing or have been murdered. Researchers also interviewed 37 family members of missing or murdered women and girls. The women interviewed describe scenes of excessive use of force on girls under the age of 18, abuse of strip searches, and even accusation of rape and beatings.

Meghan Rhoad, who helped write the HRW report, said in a press release, "The threat of domestic and random violence on one side, and mistreatment by RCMP officers on the other, leaves indigenous women in a constant state of insecurity. ... Where can they turn for help when the police are known to be unresponsive and, in some cases, abusive." She told the BBC, "There's frustration, there's distrust of authority... There's not only a feeling that the police don't take their reports seriously, but that they will themselves be responsible for mistreatment."

In a statement released by the RCMP in response to the report, the force wrote "In a written response to a series of questions posed by Human Rights Watch in fall 2012, the RCMP emphasized the seriousness of allegations of police misconduct and that these allegations must be brought forward for proper investigation. We also explained that complaints could be made to the RCMP directly, to the Commission of Public Complaints against the RCMP or to other independent investigative bodies without fear of retaliation. Unfortunately, five months later and none of these allegations have been brought forward for investigation." The statement concluded with the RCMP stating that it would need time to thoroughly review the report.

At the end of the report, the HRW calls on the Canadian government to issue an inquiry into the allegations as well as work with indigenous communities and the RCMP to reform investigative policies relating to women and girls.

Media Resources: BBC 2/13/2013; CBC 2/13/2013; Globe and Mail 2/13/2013; Human Rights Watch 2/13/2013; Toronto Sun 2/13/2013


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

11/21/2014 STATEMENT: Feminist Majority Foundation Applauds President's Executive Order on Immigration - Statement from Eleanor Smeal, Feminist Majority Foundation president: "The Feminist Majority Foundation applauds President Obama for taking much needed executive action to help fix our broken immigration system that has for too long torn hardworking families apart. . . .
 
11/20/2014 Transgender Day of Remembrance Raises Awareness of Dangers of Transphobia - Transgender people are about 400 times more likely to be assaulted or murdered than cisgender people. . . .
 
11/20/2014 Federal Appeals Court Rejects Priests for Life Challenge to Birth Control Coverage Rule - In a victory for women's health, a unanimous panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on Friday rejected a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive coverage benefit brought by Priests for Life, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington and other religiously affiliated non-profit organizations. Judge Nina Pillard, a former law professor who was nominated to the DC Circuit by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate in December, wrote the opinion for the Court, which found that the ACA birth control benefit did not substantially burden or violate non-profits' religious freedom. Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies must cover the full cost of all FDA-approved contraceptives - including the pill, IUDs, and emergency contraception - without requiring co-pays or cost-sharing. . . .