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.


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.

Intimate partner violence is directly connected to women’s economic security, including survivors’ employment and career progression. Studies show that intimate partner violence is associated with job instability and job loss. Furthermore, the barriers to employment for some survivors is compounded by structural discrimination.

This literature review explores existing research on the relationship between employment and intimate partner violence, with a focus on the experience of racialized survivors. It examines the impact of intimate partner violence on employment stability, the barriers faced by survivors in the workplace and the impact of structural racism on racialized survivors’ employment. Lastly, the review looks at promising practices for supporting survivors to access and sustain employment.


Employment sabotage and disruption can include tactics to prevent a survivor from working as well as making it difficult for a survivor to maintain work. These tactics can be used both outside of the workplace and in the workplace.

This infographic introduces the definition of employment sabotage, examples of employment sabotage and workplace responses.


Intimate partner violence can have a significant impact on women’s economic security and employment. It can lead to job instability and loss. This can be because of poor mental health, trauma, relocation and sabotage by an abusive partner. For racialized women with experiences of intimate partner violence, this can be compounded by structural barriers and racism.

WomanACT consulted organizations that serve survivors of intimate partner violence and organizations that specialize in employment services for women on the barriers faced by organizations and survivors. The report explores what we heard from services providers, including their ideas for advancing survivors economic security and employment.


Achieving an income-security system that addresses the structural forces that contribute to women’s inequality is a high priority for Violence against Women sector representatives and is an essential step to eliminating violence against women. Gender, income inequality and violence against women are interconnected. Violence can keep women in conditions of poverty and economic dependence, and poverty or fear of poverty can limit women’s choices and keep them from leaving abusive situations.

This policy brief is a response to Income Security: A Roadmap for Change, a provincial report that lays out recommendations and directions for the future of an income-security system in Ontario. The policy response makes recommendations in relation to a housing benefit and social-assistance programs.


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.


The MARAC, Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference, project is coordinating a multi-agency response to high-risk domestic violence in three communities.

MARAC is a multi-agency meeting that brings together community agencies to share information on high-risk domestic violence cases. Based on the risks and needs identified by the survivor and professionals around the table, a safety plan is developed for the survivor that includes actions by community agencies to increase the survivor’s safety.

MARAC was developed in Wales in 2003 and is now in place in more than 250 communities across the United Kingdom. The model has shown to reduce repeat victimization, increase survivor safety and connect survivors with the support and services they need.

WomanACT is leading the implementation of this model in Canada in three communities across Ontario. We are also promoting learning and knowledge to support the duplication of the model across Canada.

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