Giving voice to one legacy of foster care : how Aboriginal females have resisted the effects of sexualized violence in the foster system in British Columbia




Dallaire, Rachelle

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The Ministry of Child and Family Development (MCFD) plays a critical role in creating assessment tools, producing policies endorsing ‘best practices’, assuring and alleging equity and safety in its child welfare practices that affects the lives of vulnerable children in government custody. Regardless of their efforts, reports of sexual violence against children in government custody continue to emerge. The overrepresentation of Aboriginal girls in the foster system saturates the industry with Aboriginal female children vulnerable to sexual violence and creates the conditions for long term suffering as a result of child sexualized abuse at the hands of ministry caregivers. In this study a qualitative interview method was used to speak to key informants who are Aboriginal female survivors of the foster care system to explore the effects of and responses to sexual abuse in the foster care system in BC. This research specifically looks at the lives and health of Aboriginal girls who have experienced sexualized violence in foster care. It looks at their accomplishments and successes regardless of the sexualized violence and of the social responses they received regarding the sexualized violence. The research also explores the challenges the girls and women have experienced as a result of the sexualized violence. In addition, this research makes recommendations around professional and therapeutic intervention and prevention.



sexual abuse, sexual violence, sexualized violence, foster care, Aboriginal females/girls