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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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Financial well-being has a significant impact on women’s safety. Women’s economic insecurity can marginalize women, increasing their risk of victimization. It is also a barrier to their safety. Financial hardship after leaving an abusive relationship is a near universal experience for survivors.

This submission highlights the connections between women’s financial literacy, economic security and violence against women. The submission proposes recommendations to the National Strategy for Financial Literacy in Canada on how to help close the financial literacy gender gap in Canada while also working to promote women’s financial independence and safety.

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Multi-agency collaboration, including the development of formal partnership arrangement and information sharing protocols, have been recognized as an approach that increases the effectiveness of services in responding to and reducing intimate partner violence. Domestic violence death review committees across Canada have called for information sharing between services agencies serving clients experiencing intimate partner violence.

The literature review highlights literature on information sharing amongst services providers in relation to intimate partner violence in Canada. The review will help inform the wider MARAC project which is aimed at piloting high risk domestic violence tables in three communities across Ontario. In particular, the review will help inform the development of information sharing policy and practice for MARAC operation in Canada.

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Housing is a key barrier to fleeing violence. Survivors commonly face homelessness and housing insecurity. The portable housing benefit pilot program is a provincial initiative that provides survivors of domestic violence the option to choose a portable housing benefit instead of social housing.

This policy brief explores survivors’ experiences accessing the portable housing benefit. The brief makes recommendations to improve access to the program, increase housing options for women and increase awareness and knowledge of the program.

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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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In September 2020, the government of Canada announced the new Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) to help address the urgent housing needs of vulnerable Canadians by rapidly creating new affordable housing. This letter in response urges the government to ensure the initiative is aligned with Canada’s National Housing Strategy. It also asks the government to recognize the disproportional barriers that women and their children fleeing intimate partner violence face in accessing housing.

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Violence against women is one of the main causes of homelessness and housing instability among women and children, and the lack of access to safe and affordable housing is one of the leading barriers for women fleeing violence.

This policy brief explores of the role of women’s safety in realizing the right to housing in Canada. In preparation for this policy brief, WomanACT coordinated a consultation process on Canada’s proposed human-rights-based approach to housing with stakeholders providing violence against women services in the city of Toronto.

We recommend that the government considers safety as a component of adequate housing, applies an intersectional, gender-based analysis and engages women with lived experience of violence. We also recommend that the government explores the housing rights and options of women when fleeing violence, including the right to remain in their own homes.

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Poverty and violence against women are interconnected. Poverty marginalizes women, increasing their risk of victimization. Women experiencing violence often experience financial harm, including loss of control over finances and/or limited ability to access employment. Without access to income, housing or employment, poverty can trap women in abusive relationships. Furthermore, financial hardship after leaving an abusive relationship is a near-universal experience for women.

This policy brief analyzes the impacts of the current Ontario social-assistance programs and makes recommendations to improve social-assistance programs to meet the needs of women across the province. In preparation for this policy brief, we held an open forum on Social Assistance Reform and Women in September 2018 in Toronto, which was attended by more than 40 agencies, advocates, researchers and women with lived experience of violence from across the city.

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In 2016, the government of Canada started to pursue the development of a National Housing Strategy and welcomed feedback and input from community organizations across the country.

This report explores the importance of a National Housing Strategy that considers the experiences and needs of women experiencing violence. The report also makes clear recommendations for the strategy, with a focus on recognizing the importance of safe housing as a key component of adequate housing.

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