Developing healthy relationships with family members, friends and intimate partners isn’t always easy.
Many relationships can become fractured and damaging, especially in the case of families and intimate partners. Practicing safe sex is important to maintaining healthy relationships. It’s easy to think that you’ll never get pregnant or get a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
Here are the facts on safe sex:
- Over 75% of Canadians will get a STI in their lifetime
- 85% of women who have sex without a method of birth control will get pregnant within one year (Aboriginal Sexual Health)
- If you’re starting to think about your sexuality, it’s time to talk about birth control, STI's and safer sex.
So often, relationship issues start with small problems or actions, and we don’t recognize how destructive the relationship is until significant damage has been done. Other times, it’s a traumatic event such as molestation or rape when we’re young that play a huge role in the decisions we make about our partners later on, often re-victimizing ourselves and recreating the trauma of our past.
Calling out family members, people in positions of power (such as community leaders or teachers) and even partners who we love is a terrifying task.
Sometimes it seems impossible or like it’ll cause more damage than good, but it’s not true. No one deserves to experience violence or control. There is a safe way out and people who can help you.
- There were 164 missing and 1,017 murdered Aboriginal women in Canada as of late 2013.
- The number of Aboriginal female victims of murder has remained relatively constant while the number of non-Aboriginal female victims has been declining.
Violence against women happens across all cultures and religions, in all ethnic and racial communities, at every age and in every income group. Aboriginal women in Canada are especially at risk:
- Aboriginal women (First Nations, Inuit and Métis) are more than 8x more likely to be killed by their intimate partner than non-Aboriginal women.
- Aboriginal women are 3.5x more likely to be victims of violence compared to non-Aboriginal women.
- As Aboriginal women, there is an increased risk of being violated due to intergenerational trauma caused by residential school policies, racism and sexism. These are systemic issues that contribute to the problem.
If you need help:
- Talk to a Kids Help Phone counsellor anonymously and free of charge: 1-800-668-6868
- If you suspect a friend or family member is being abused, click here for some resources for you to call to help you or 1-888-606-000
Ruston Fellows writes about the roles of Indigenous peoples in ending violence against Indigenous women and girls.