Government of Canada Announces Funding to Help Prevent Teen Dating Violence

News release

Projects will provide students with skills and resources to recognize unhealthy relationships

February 18, 2019 - Windsor, Ontario - Public Health Agency of Canada

Teen and youth dating violence has immediate and often long-lasting impacts on a person’s physical and mental health. By engaging youth and providing resources and opportunities to learn, we can foster positive relationships, build healthy families, change attitudes and promote gender equality.

Today, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, reiterated the Government’s commitment to ending gender-based violence by announcing nearly $1.8 million in funding over five years for two projects that will address teen and youth dating violence. The projects will be led by the Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre (CYAC) and the University of Windsor.

Boost CYAC’s Healthy Connections: Preventing Gender-Based Violence through Youth Healthy Relationships project will deliver a curriculum focused on building positive, healthy relationships and preventing teen dating violence through the Toronto District School Board and the Toronto District Catholic School Board. The University of Windsor’s Girl, you got this! project will adapt, test, and deliver an intervention that focuses on helping young women effectively resist sexual coercion and assault while reducing self-blame and strengthening young women’s confidence when it comes to relationships and sexuality.

This investment by the Public Health Agency of Canada is part of Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence.


“Educating young Canadians on how to recognize unhealthy relationships is crucial to ending teen and youth dating violence. I’m proud to announce the Government of Canada’s support for these important projects that will have a positive impact on youth by providing skills and knowledge on how to build positive, healthy relationships. By promoting gender equality and boosting the confidence of young women around their relationships and sexuality, we hope to end gender-based violence.”

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health

“Young Canadians are making life-changing decisions in their teenage years, especially about dating and relationships. Those decisions can have lasting consequences and the numbers tell a horrifying story: nearly half of all sexual assaults are committed against young women aged 15 to 24. In developing Canada’s first strategy to end gender-based violence, experts, survivors and their families asked our government to address the gaps in teen and youth dating violence, and promote healthy relationships. Our government listened. That’s why we are funding partnerships like these between the Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre, the University of Windsor and the Public Health Agency of Canada to help ensure our kids live free from gender-based violence and abuse.”

The Honourable Maryam Monsef
Minister for Women and Gender Equality

“Assisting youth to develop necessary skills to build healthy relationships is critical in the prevention of gender-based violence. At Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre, we are committed to service excellence. We look forward to a rigorous review of our existing Healthy Connections program to ensure that we can offer the highest quality programming to Canadian youth. We are grateful to the Public Health Agency of Canada for supporting us in the continued development of resources that contribute to healthy communities across Canada.”

Karyn Kennedy
President & CEO, Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre

“I am absolutely delighted that this very important and timely initiative is receiving the support needed to make a real and lasting difference for our youth.”

K.W. Michael Siu
Vice-President of Research and Innovation, University of Windsor

Quick facts

  • The Public Health Agency of Canada is investing more than $40 million over five years under its Preventing Gender-Based Violence – The Health Perspective program. The program supports Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence.

  • Violence against women, girls, and LGBTQ2 people is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations across the globe. Globally, it is estimated that one in three women experiences intimate partner violence in her lifetime. In over 70 countries around the world, laws that criminalize LGBTQ2 people perpetuate gender-based violence against these communities.

  • In Canada, nearly 50% of people aged 15 and older who identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual report having experienced childhood physical or sexual abuse, compared to 30% of heterosexual people.

  • In June 2019, Canada will host the Women Deliver conference, the world’s largest conference on gender equality and the health, rights and wellbeing of girls and women.

Associated links


Thierry Bélair
Office of Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada

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