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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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As we enter a third wave of the pandemic – what is showing to be the harshest wave yet – the provincial government must implement paid sick days.

Paid sick leave is a critical component of a pandemic response and yet, despite a call for paid sick leave from municipal governments and health authorities, the Ontario government has not implemented paid sick leave. Paid sick leave would help reduce the COVID-19 variant spread.

Paid sick leave is a gender issue. Women are less likely to have access to paid sick leave. Workers without paid sick leave are more likely to be in roles that are low paid and involve direct contact with others, like working in grocery stores, long-term care, or cleaning services. These roles are disproportionately held by women, particularly racialized women.

We cannot wait any longer to legislate paid sick days.

Take action now and tell the Ontario government you support paid sick days.

Stay informed! Receive updates on the campaign.

Let the government know you support paid sick days.

Support this campaign and share it with your network.

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.

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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.

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As cases of COVID-19 surge across the province, several regions have been placed in lockdown and Ontarians are being told to stay home in order to stay safe. Residential tenants cannot follow this advice if they are being evicted from their homes. Not all tenants face the same risk of eviction. Low-income and racialized women, survivors of domestic violence, and women-led households are disproportionately affected by evictions.

We are pleased to see Ontario MPPs vote unanimously in support of a motion for a residential evictions moratorium.

We are now calling on Premier Ford to immediately sign an emergency order that will reinstate the ban on evictions.

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.

Related:

Issue Brief: Information Sharing and Intimate Partner Violence in Canada

Community Perceptions: Exploring the practices of risk assessment, information sharing and safety planning

A Community Analysis of Risk Assessment Tools for MARAC