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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.

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Public transit is a gender issue. While women are more likely to use public transit, they also face increased barriers to accessing transit, mainly, risks to their safety. Access to public transit is critical for people’s mobility and economic participation.

This issue brief explores women’s unique travel patterns and needs, including changes to women’s travel patterns during the COVID-19 pandemic. The brief also looks at women’s safety on public transit and outlines policies and practices to improve safety on transit.

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The Supporting Senior Immigrant Women at Risk of Financial Abuse project will conduct research and build capacity of community agencies and financial institutions in Toronto to respond to the needs of senior immigrant women.

Senior immigrant women face unique barriers to accessing support and services as well as added and complex barriers to economic security. This project will seek to understand the nature of economic abuse among senior immigrant women and develop recommendations for improved practice and response.

The project will co-create community-based research with senior immigrant women in Toronto. Research will be conducted with survivors of economic abuse and community agencies. The research will be mobilized to raise awareness, build capacity of agencies and remove barriers faced by survivors of economic abuse.

The project is funded by the Government of Canada under the New Horizons for Seniors Program.

Literature and Research Report

Information leaflets for senior women

Information videos for senior women

The Intersections between employment and safety among racialized women project is undertaking research to understand racialized women’s experiences in employment and how these are impacted by experiences of gender-based violence.

Canada’s labour market is gendered, racialized and consistently unequal. Labour market statistics show that racialized women are disproportionately impacted by these inequalities. Racialized women face unique barriers in employment which directly impacts their economic security. There is a strong connection between women’s employment, economic security and safety which is often overlooked. This project seeks to understand and highlight the intersections of these experiences.

The project will conduct a literature review, conduct community-based research on women’s lived experiences and involve key stakeholders in discussions for best practice and solutions. Using this new research, the project will engage partners to implement strategies that address barriers faced by survivors in employment. The project will also develop a policy strategy and advocate for organizational and system-level change that will address barriers to employment for racialized women with experience of violence.

Most of the housing options for women fleeing violence have something in common: they place the onus on women to leave home in order to reach safety. However, policies and programs that prioritize women’s independence can instead enable women to stay safely in their own homes. This shift in practice is a step forward in holding perpetrators accountable for their violence and limiting the consequences for survivors.

This literature review synthesizes the evidence on supporting women to remain safely in their home when leaving a violent relationship. It explores policy and program approaches from other jurisdictions, evaluation findings on the intervention’s outcomes and challenges, and promising practices that can broaden housing solutions for violence against women.

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The Reducing Stigma project is working in partnership with Elizabeth Fry Toronto and women with lived experience of violence and criminalization to engage in systems change to improve access to services and supports.

Involvement in the criminal justice system carries stigma for women, and this can be compounded by other factors including race, sexuality, immigration status, and interlocking systems of oppression. The stigmatization of criminalization impacts a woman’s help-seeking intentions and access to services such as housing, health care, employment and services for survivors of gender-based violence.

The project is conducting community-based action research to generate evidence and develop strategies for reducing the stigma and discrimination faced by women with lived experience of violence and criminalization. Using the knowledge developed, the project will undertake community education and policy advocacy to increase knowledge and reduce the barriers to services and supports for women with experiences of trauma and criminalization.

In January 2021, the Canadian government announced a commitment to develop a National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence. Leading up to the development of the Plan, we undertook consultations with community organizations and survivors on what they wanted to see in the Plan.

The report provides an overview of what we heard from consultations, including key messages and priorities for the Plan.

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Domestic violence disclosure schemes, 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 a background on Clare’s Law in the UK and how the disclosure process works. This policy brief also outlines the documented benefits and critiques of the policy.

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