Women and gender diverse people in the criminal justice system have high rates of violence and trauma in their lifetime. Trauma can be both a direct and indirect pathway into criminalized activities and is often reproduced and worsened by experiences in the justice system. The experience of trauma and criminalization can be compounded by other intersecting identities, including race. Racialized women and gender diverse people are overrepresented in the criminal justice system and are the fastest growing prison population in Canada.
This research explores the relationship between trauma and criminalization among racialized women and highlights the dangerous stigma they face as a result. It discusses how intimate partner violence can be a pathway into the criminal justice system for survivors, and how the judgment surrounding criminalization remains a barrier to fleeing violence and resolving trauma. The report also speaks to what is needed to improve access to services for racialized survivors with experiences of criminalization.
Intimate partner violence is closely connected to women’s economic security, including their income, employment, and housing. Research has shown that intimate partner violence both directly and indirectly impacts survivors’ ability to work and maintain employment. This can be compounded by other factors, including gender, race, and age. Racialized women face systemic barriers to economic equality and are more likely to be in precarious and low-income employment than non-racialized women.
This research report draws on qualitative data gathered through surveys and interviews with racialized survivors. The report explores the experiences of racialized survivors in accessing and maintaining employment. It discusses the impact that trauma from racism and intimate partner violence has on women’s employment and what is needed to better support racialized survivors to access and maintain meaningful employment.
Senior immigrant women occupy intersecting identities of gender, age and immigration. Each of these have been known to impact experiences of gender-based violence and help seeking. Furthermore, these intersections can create specific risk factors related to economic abuse.
This report examines the dynamics and experiences of economic abuse among senior immigrant women. The first part of this report explores the existing literature on economic abuse among senior immigrant women. The second part of this report contains findings from community-based research undertaken with service providers and senior immigrant women with lived experience of economic abuse.
The project will bring together key stakeholders, including senior women and community agencies, to raise awareness of gender-based violence, strengthen referral pathways and build the capacity of community agencies to identify and respond to violence against senior women.
Over the past 10 years, 1 in 5 women killed by gender-based violence in Canada were over 65 years old, representing a large victim age group. In addition to being at high risk of violence, senior women face unique risk factors and barriers to accessing services and supports. For example, family violence may be more difficult to identify among senior women because of dependencies on others or social isolation.
The project will create resources and deliver capacity building on violence against senior women. The project will also support senior women to raise awareness of gender-based violence, including family and intimate partner violence in their communities.
Measures put in place to mitigate COVID-19, such as stay at home orders, have put families experiencing intimate partner violence at greater risk. In particular, young women and women with children have been identified at greater risk for increased violence, housing instability, and decreased service provision.
The project will investigate patterns of violence and housing instability, and examine changes to experiences and services during the pandemic. The project will undertake a realist informed review of literature and conduct primary research. The project will also work closely with survivors to create digital narratives. Using the knowledge created, the project will build collaboration with policy makers, service providers and other knowledge users.
The Successful Tenancies project is working to improve women’s access to, and experience in, the private rental housing market in Toronto.
Gender-based violence is a common cause of homelessness among women and gender-diverse people in Toronto. A lack of access to safe and affordable housing is a key barrier to women and gender-diverse people’s safety. It can prevent them from leaving violent situations or lead them into precarious housing situations. Women face a range of barriers to accessing housing in the private rental market, including affordability and discrimination.
The project will undertake research into survivors’ experiences in navigating the private rental market in Toronto. Using this knowledge, the project will build the capacity of landlords and housing providers to increase access to, and better meet the needs of, survivors of gender-based violence. The project will also use the knowledge created to build partnerships across community and housing sectors.
The right to housing is more than just a roof over one’s head. It is the right to safe, affordable and permanent housing. Survivors living in violent situations are experiencing a violation to their right to housing. Survivors are also at a high risk of homelessness and face a range of barriers to obtaining housing.
This infographic highlights the connections between right to housing, violence against women and homelessness.
Violations of the right to housing are largely gendered, with women and gender-diverse people more likely to experience inadequate housing and homelessness. The right to housing is defined as all individuals having the right to safe and adequate housing. As such, women living in violent homes are also experiencing a direct violation of their right to housing.
This issue brief explores the connections between the right to housing and violence against women. The brief looks at the connections between homelessness and violence and the key barriers to survivors obtaining safe, adequate and permanent housing.
Women are at greater risk of sexual harassment and unwanted attention on public transit. The risk and perceived risk are one of the most influential factors in women’s transit decisions. Fear of experiencing harassment impacts how and when women use transit.
This infographic looks at the women’s use of transit in Toronto and common forms of violence on public transit.
Women have different needs and behaviours when it comes to public transit than men. Women tend to take several short trips in one day and often link trips together. Women are also at greater risk of sexual harassment and unwanted attention on transit.
This infographic looks at women and public transit, including patterns, commute modes and experiences of sexual harassment.