Missing Women Working Group Report

In 2006, British Columbia and Alberta proposed that federal, provincial and territorial deputy justice ministers approve the formation of a missing women working group.

The working group was tasked with examining issues associated with missing and murdered women in Canada – particularly those involved in the sex trade – including legislation, enforcement, protection, prosecution and related issues. Its goal was to determine the extent it is possible to prevent serial sexual predation of women by identifying who is at risk of victimization or offending.

In addition to an extensive review of existing research, best practices and policies, the working group consulted closely with police and prosecutors who had investigated and successfully prosecuted serial killers of women. Victim services workers involved with the investigations were also interviewed. The working group drew on the knowledge and analysis of groups victimized by serial sexual assault and murder, including Aboriginal organizations.

Their report, Issues Related to the High Number of Murdered and Missing Women in Canada (PDF), found women most at risk from serial sexual predators are:

  • Aboriginal
  • Poor
  • Homeless
  • Lacking social supports
  • Addicted to alcohol or drugs
  • Involved in sex work or other dangerous activities, such as hitchhiking, and/or
  • Have mental health problems

The report recommends actions to protect vulnerable women from sexual predators.

This report (PDF) is a condensed version of the final report and was prepared for the October 2010 federal-provincial-territorial meeting of ministers responsible for justice.

The ministers released the full report [French (PDF)/English (PDF)] on Jan. 26, 2012.