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Indigenous, Black and Racialized women face unique, intersecting, and compounding forms of gender and racial discrimination that impact their employment opportunities and experiences in the workplace.

This brief provides an overview of the structural and individual dimensions of gender and racial discrimination and how this intersection impacts the opportunities and experiences of Indigenous, Black, and Racialized women in Canadian workplaces. Additionally, it spotlights the intersection of gender-based violence in the workplace.

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Crises cause disruptions and changes to structures, systems, and patterns, but the extent and magnitude of the disruptions or changes are rarely understood. This is especially true in prolonged crises or the case of an already precarious industry. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the GBV sector faced these changes, but little was known about their extent and magnitude.

This issue brief reviews the main changes that were experienced in the sector, highlighting the impact of COVID-19 on intimate partner violence (IPV) survivors and service provision sectors. The brief informs policy formulation on service sector re-categorization, service provision support, and intra- and inter-sector collaborations. These findings are intended to be useful for policymakers, legislators, and administrators.

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Survivors shared their challenges navigating the legal system on their journey to safety and stability throughout the pandemic in research conducted by WomanACT and University of Guelph. The infographic looks at the supports requested by the survivors to help them navigate the legal system better.

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Survivors shared their challenges navigating the legal system on their journey to safety and stability throughout the pandemic in research conducted by WomanACT and University of Guelph. The infographic looks at the number of legal factors survivors must account for.

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Domestic violence disclosure ( DVD ) protocols, often referred to as Clare’s Law, provide a process for police to disclose information to someone about their partner’s or ex-partner’s previous history of violence, including intimate partner violence.

This policy brief provides background on Clare’s Law by drawing on academic literature to outline the benefits and critiques of disclosure protocols, and how such protocols work. Based on the available research, the brief highlights policy recommendations and considerations for the implementation of DVD protocols in Canada.

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Older women living with disabilities face various forms of abuse, often underreported due to barriers like stigma and isolation.

This issue brief raises awareness about the structural disadvantages faced by older women (65+) with disabilities experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV) in the areas of financial security, employment, and housing. Using literature and data from a Canadian and American context, this brief highlights the challenges and barriers faced by IPV survivors living at the intersections of gender, age, and disability.

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As women age, they are more likely to be living in poverty than men. This disparity is due to several factors, including the gender wage gap and women being more likely to experience career disruptions, such as caring for loved ones. These factors contribute to a lack of personal income and savings available to women over the age of 55 and older. Older women may experience additional barriers to economic security in later life due to their experiences of gender-based violence, including economic abuse and employment sabotage.   

This project will raise awareness of the financial and social needs of women over the age of 55. Through collaboration with key stakeholders, including older women with lived experience and community agencies, the project will develop and deliver education and capacity building to improve awareness of family violence and intimate partner violence among different populations of older women. 

In Canada, one in three women report experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV) in their lifetime, and data suggest that rates of IPV are as high if not higher among transgender and/or non-binary individuals compared to their cisgender counterparts. 

Survivors of IPV often seek counselling or psychotherapy to cope with the psychological costs of the abuse. However, many psychotherapists lack training in how to effectively respond to IPV, which can lead to survivors feeling unsupported and invalidated while abuse dynamics go undetected and unaddressed. 

Our research in partnership with the University of Toronto aims to investigate the experiences of survivors who have sought psychotherapy and/or counselling services for a mental health concern in Ontario. We will focus on the experiences of cisgender women, non-binary, and transgender adults over the age of 18. This community-based qualitative research will explore survivors’ subjective perceptions of counselling and/or psychotherapy, including the process of accessing services, participating in the therapeutic relationship, and the overall consequences for their mental health. The findings will inform policy initiatives and bolster training for mental health professionals to better meet the needs of this high-risk population. 

While trauma-informed practices have become more widely used across social services, the recognition of intersecting trauma and the integration of anti-racism remains a gap within and across sectors. Trauma from gender-based violence, community violence, and racism are compounded, and discrimination and fear of discrimination can be a barrier to accessing services. 

This project will enhance the capacity of organizations to respond to the needs of racialized women survivors of gender-based violence who are experiencing racism and trauma, by offering culturally safe frontline services. The project will collaborate with stakeholders to incorporate principles of anti-racism and trauma-informed practice, thereby improving service delivery and access for racialized survivors.

Housing is critical to survivors’ safety, and there are opportunities for housing providers and landlords to develop policies and practices to protect the tenancies and safety of survivors.

Survivors’ experiences with landlords and private rental housing are examined in this infographic, along with their preferred safety solutions. 

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