It’s Time to Pay Attention

Federal Strategy on Gender-based Violence

Consultations and reports

In 2016, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, then Minister of Status of Women, heard from survivors, frontline workers, researchers, advocates, and other individuals from across Canada about gender-based violence (GBV).

“How can we get the vast majority of men, who are good men, kind men, to take action and get involved in the conversation, in the solution, rather than being part of the problem? By being silent, we're saying that what's happening is okay.”

Mr. Taras, BC Lions Football Club

“I was told that if my offender were found innocent, I would get written down as a liar, and that if I were assaulted again, it would be on record that I’m a liar. Not only was this incredibly intimidating, and made me question moving forward with the court process, but it also made me feel very unsafe.”

Ms. Kurchik, Healing Justice Advisory Committee

Through roundtables, meetings, online submissions, and surveys, Canadians from various backgrounds such as Indigenous women, individuals from LGBTQ2 and gender non-conforming communities, young women, women with disabilities, men and women working to end GBV, and newcomers to Canada, shared their experiences and insights. A review of research and key reportsfootnote1 also helped inform Canada’s current and planned actions on the issue of GBV, such as the Standing Committee on the Status of Women’s 7th Report entitled Taking Action to End Violence Against Young Women and Girls in Canada.

The Advisory Council

On June 27, 2016, the Minister of Status of Women formed an Advisory Council to serve as a forum to exchange views, share practices, and discuss research related to GBV. In order to get a full and clear picture of Canadians who face GBV, a broad range of members were selected for the Advisory Council with expertise in violence prevention, LGBTQ2 issues, cyberviolence, sexual violence, violence against people with disabilities, violence against Indigenous women and girls, best practices for engaging men and boys, and the criminal justice system. The Advisory Council, and other stakeholders, helped shape It’s Time: Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence by calling for:

  • a focus on three priority areas: prevention, engaging men and boys in a dialogue to prevent GBV and promote gender equality, and support for survivors;
  • tailored supports for diverse groups of survivors;
  • training for service providers on trauma-informed practice;
  • improvements to the justice system response to GBV;
  • comprehensive data collection on GBV;
  • research on promising programs; and
  • practical, evidence-based resources for policy makers and service providers.

“Violence takes on many forms—physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, spiritual, cultural, and financial. This often results in vulnerability and self-harm, such as depression, alcoholism, substance abuse, and suicide.”

Francyne Joe, Interim President, Native Women's Association of Canada
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