Repercussions of Assault and long-term Sexual Abuse

5 min readNov 10, 2020
“Am I Next ?” refers to the fear and likely probability of Indigenous women going missing, raped or murdered

When particular members of a group are targeted, and they go missing, are murdered or raped can have chain reaction and can affect many of its people. Indigenous women often scared to walk alone in the night, then any other minority in Canada. This not only creates fear, but long-term trauma(PTSD)😔, especially affecting under-age women. It then leads to high rates of mortality due to drug abuse. With the lack of women, their communities suffer from socio-economic problems.

I think the root cause all of this endangerment is because erasure of Indigenous culture. The Canadian has done nothing for these countless victims, and this has led to the degradation of these women who play a key in Indigenous societies and their values.

Long-Term Trauma and Fear

Illustration of an Indigenous women with words of feelings and strengths

Sexual abuse has caused not only the victims, but their loved ones trauma and only pain. Fear is also an important attribute to this issue, as Indigenous women who are currently living through spousal violence are being affected. According to Department of Justice Canada, 53% of Indigenous mothers fear for their lives due to domestic violence. They are also most likely to suffer from emotional and financial abuse from their spouses. The fear that is instilled in their minds have led to many mothers abandoned their families, and it the reason why it has increased Indigenous homelessness to 62–64%. I can feel how the abuse has taken a toll on their lives, and why Indigenous women experience more discrimination than other minorities, as oppression is the only thing that comes to my mind.

I feel extremely disgusted🤢 after realizing the extreme that a child like me might go through after being sexually abused. CTV News states, that sexual abuse haunt children in Indigenous communities. Child sexual abuse is a disturbing😳 reality in many of their communities. Statistic Canada finds that many of these children who suffer from trauma and PTSD, don’t get help needed to overcome the violence. It also known to be a generational trauma, as sexual abuse victims children or grand children often experience the same effects, due to the environment they live in. This leave helpless kids to rot, and ruins many of their dreams. Some of the symptoms that were found fear, shock, denial and guilt. These children end up inside of homeless shelter or become foster children.

Ongoing Drug Abuse and High rates of Mortality

Drugs have plagued Indigenous youth

When it come to drug abuse, Indigenous teens like me rank no.1 in Canada, which deeply saddens me, as I know someone who takes drugs doesn’t define what they do in life. According to CBC news and Dr. Goldman , Indigenous youth are at the top of Canada’s list of most likely to die to drug abuse. He also found gender disparities, as 80% of young Indigenous women die of suicide, and 75% of them were avid drug users. He says women have a higher risk of dying from drug abuse, due to are more likely than men to attempt suicide.

I’m feel the Canadian needs to do more to protect these vulnerable minorities. These women should have outreach services, and free access to counselling and more mental health clinics available in their neighbourhoods.

In The Break, Katherena Vermette is able to display characters suffering from drug abuse after going through a traumatic periods in their lives. I think many of these character do drugs to be able get their mind off of the issue and sooth their pain😓. This connects to the issues that real life Indigenous women face in Canada, as drug rates are high amongst women of Indigenous background.

Vermette states “Phoenix sees it all again in her head, the sounds, the shapes. She sees it all like she was only watching, the way everyone was looking at her. The way her uncle looked at her. The way Clayton looked away. She braces her body as if for wind, shakes it off, and wants a smoke. She lights up and inhales hard. She takes another drag and almost feels normal again,”(Vermette 143).

In this excerpt, it describes Phoenix- Metis youth(women) who relives a traumatic part of her life. To clear her mind she wants a smoke, which makes her feel normal again. I believe children and youth shouldn’t use drugs to mend their pain and suffering. But, this is an ongoing issue in the Indigenous community, especially with women. I feel that Vermette has depicted this real life issue very well in fictional story to raise awareness of the ongoing drug issue.

Erasure of Indigenous Societies and values

How colonialism has erased and destroyed Indigenous culture

Colonialism, also known as the Erasure of Indigenous cultures and values has affected them for generations in Canada. Genocide has been a huge issue brought up every single time, as Indigenous children assimilate into European culture, and in the process has been brainwashed, assaulted and left to suffer. I’ve learned about the many subtle ways the Canadian government has used to get rid of Indigenous culture, from the Indian Act, Residential schools and sixties scoop. They did everything possible to either assimilate or destroy, and even though they’ve been somewhat successful, Indigenous culture is still alive in Canada.

I believe that the reason why the government doesn’t care about Indigenous issues, is because they want them to suffer. The continuous suffering of Indigenous women have impacted their communities, which has led to further erasure of their culture. Something I find were sad is that government doesn’t take a stance and they remain silent 🤫, while many young girls are being traumatized. As Canadian uproot this issue, and help people who own this land, but the government- the people stool the land just wants to let them suffer.