Glossary

Federal Strategy on Gender-based Violence

Ableism refers to a set of prejudicial and discriminatory beliefs and behaviours that assigns inferior worth to people living with developmental, emotional, physical, or mental disabilities.

Biphobia is a set of negative beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours towards bisexuality and bisexual people. It can take the form of negative stereotypes, intolerance and discrimination towards these individuals.

Classism is a set of negative beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours that facilitate the systematic devaluation, exploitation, and exclusion of people viewed as being from a lower social standing or class.

Culturally safe approaches are those that recognize and challenge unequal power relations between service providers and survivors by building equitable, two-way relationships characterized by respect, shared responsibility, and cultural exchange. Survivors must have their culture, values, and preferences taken into account in the provision of services.

Family violence is any form of abuse or neglect that a child or adult experiences from a family member, or from someone with whom they have an intimate relationship. It is an abuse of power by one person to hurt and control someone who trusts and depends on them.

Gender refers to culturally defined identities and roles associated with males/masculinity and females/femininity. While many people confuse a person’s gender identity with their biological sex, it is clear that people’s gender identity, and the public presentation (behaviour and appearance) of that identity (gender expression), is not fundamentally linked with bodily differences between males and females (or with their sexual desires for that matter). How a person understands and expresses themselves in relation to these differences actually exists on a spectrum of gender identification. Some people strongly identify with the gender traditionally associated with their biological sex—cisgendered people. Other people’s self-identity is more strongly linked to that traditionally associated with the “opposite” sex or the sex they were not assigned at birth. Some people feel that their gender is some mix of male and female, and still others feel that they do not have a gender identity. Transgender acts as an umbrella term covering people with diverse gender identities and expressions. A range of other terms have been used to describe various positions on the gender spectrum—non-binary gender, gender-queer, gender variant, gender non-conforming, gender neutral, agender, etc.

Gender-based violence is violence perpetrated against someone based on their gender expression, gender identity, or perceived gender. It takes many forms, including physical, economic, sexual, psychological, and emotional.

Homophobia refers to a range of negative attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours directed towards people perceived as LGBTQ2, with resulting systemic effects of prejudice, discrimination, and violence. See also: transphobia, biphobia.

Intersex is defined by the Intersex Society of North America as “a general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male.”

Intimate partner violence (sometimes referred to as domestic violence) is physical, sexual, or psychological harm that happens in intimate relationships, including marriages, common-law partnerships, or dating relationships. Neglect and harassment are also forms of intimate partner violence. It can take place while the relationship is ongoing or after it has ended. Such violence can occur in opposite- or same-sex relationships, and can be one-sided or involve both partners.

LGBTQ2 is an acronym referring to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and two-spirit people.

Racism is the systemic subordination, oppression, and exploitation of specific groups of people based on perceived physical (e.g. skin colour) and/or cultural characteristics. Racism is rooted in beliefs and behaviours which assume the biological or cultural superiority of one racial group over others, resulting in power and privilege for the dominant group and unequal treatment and limited opportunities for oppressed groups.

Transphobia refers to negative attitudes and feelings towards transgender or non-binary gender individuals, and resulting systemic effects of prejudice, discrimination, and violence.

Trauma-informed approaches are those that take into account the lasting effects trauma has on survivors and tailors information, resources, and services to avoid re-traumatizing them.

Two-Spirit (or Two-Spirited) is a contemporary term used by some Indigenous people in North America to refer to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and gender-non-conforming people in their communities.

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