Gender-based Violence

What is gender-based violence?


It is the types of abuse that women, girls, and Two Spirit, trans and non-binary people are at highest risk of experiencing. It can take physical and emotional forms, such as: name-calling, hitting, pushing, blocking, stalking/criminal harassment, rape, sexual assault, control, and manipulation. Many forms of this abuse are against the law.

It can happen between people in romantic relationships. It can happen in families, at work, and between friends and acquaintances and strangers. It often occurs in private places between people who know each other.

Anybody can be abused, no matter their background, identity, or circumstance. But women, girls, and gender-diverse people are at high risk of gender-based violence. Some are at even higher risks, due to the additional discrimination and barriers they face. This includes women with disabilities, Indigenous women, racialized women, trans and non-binary people, and women who are homeless or underhoused. People facing abuse may have not have access to services that meet their needs (e.g. people in rural or remote areas).


Why is ending gender-based violence so urgent?


It costs lives: in 2022, 184 women and girls were violently killed, primarily by men. One woman or girl is killed every 48 hours (Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability, 2022).

The toll on those who are harmed is significant. It’s hard on those around them, too. Children who witness violence in the home have twice the rate of psychiatric disorders as children from non-violent homes (Eve Bender, Psychiatric News, 2004).

It costs billions of dollars: $7.4 billion to deal with the aftermath of spousal violence alone (Department of Justice, 2009).

Domestic violence can carry over into the workplace, threatening women’s ability to maintain economic independence. More than half (53%) of study respondents who experienced domestic violence said that at least one type of abusive act happened at or near their workplace. Almost 40% of those who had experienced domestic abuse said it made it difficult for them to get to work, and 8.5% said that they lost their jobs because of it (Jennifer C.D. MacGregor et al., Safety and Health at Work, 2016)


Source: Canadian Women's Foundation