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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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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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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.

We all deserve an Ontario government that is committed to ending gender-based violence.

Across Ontario, women, girls and gender diverse people are disproportionately impacted by violence, especially Indigenous, Black, trans, Two-Spirit and non-binary people, immigrant, refugee, and non-status women and women living with disabilities.

When we speak to women and gender diverse people experiencing violence across Ontario, we hear about the many systemic inequalities, risks and barriers they face daily. Women and gender diverse people are at a greater risk of violence in their homes, on the street and at work. They are unable to live free from violence because of a lack of access to income, decent work and affordable housing.

The pandemic has exacerbated inequalities and intensified gender-based violence. Because of this, we only see the need for gender-based violence services, affordable housing and access to justice will only increase over the coming years. That’s why now more than ever, we need an Ontario government that is committed to prioritizing the safety of women and gender diverse people.

Call to action:

We’re calling on provincial political parties to commit to ending gender-based violence in Ontario with a priority on increased investment, coordinated strategy and systemic change. We’re asking parties to commit to:

  • A coordinated, funded and community-led provincial strategy to end gender-based violence.
  • A range of adequate and affordable housing options for survivors and their families, including the option to remain in their own home safely.
  • Significant increases to sustainable funding for feminist and anti-violence community agencies.

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 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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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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