Policy Impacts on Violence Against Women in Canada: A Review of Literature on Selected Policies

From a public-policy perspective, violence against women will not be solved through a single targeted policy on violence. Public policies shape and create social conditions. Policies can create social conditions that reinforce gender inequality and produce violence against women. Policies can also negatively impact women experiencing violence by limiting women’s access to determinants of safety such as housing and income security.

This literature review presents an overview of the impacts of selected federal and provincial policies on violence against women. The literature review finds that women are regularly required to prove or verify their abuse in order to obtain support or services; that policies do not always reflect the gendered experience of immigration, poverty and homelessness; and that policies often reproduce conditions of women’s economic insecurity and financial dependence.