Government of Canada Announces Funding to Help Prevent Teen Dating Violence

News release

Project will be designed, delivered and evaluated by youth, for youth

March 4, 2019 - Ottawa, Ontario - Public Health Agency of Canada

Adolescence is a key time to provide young people with the knowledge and skills to develop healthy relationships that are free from violence and abuse. By engaging youth and providing resources and opportunities to learn about healthy relationships, we can change attitudes and promote gender equality, which contribute to ending dating violence and can pave the way for healthy relationships throughout life.

Today, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, reiterated the Government of Canada’s commitment to ending gender-based violence by providing nearly $1 million to the Students Commission of Canada to support its Be the Change project, which will help prevent teen and youth dating violence.

Through the Be the Change project, the Students Commission of Canada will develop a youth dating violence intervention that will be designed, delivered and evaluated by youth, for youth, in 15 communities across the country. The project will help young Canadians identify the influence of social, cultural and environmental factors on dating violence and gender inequality. Participants will examine issues such as social norms, toxic masculinity, and the influence of media, online content, and family and school settings on attitudes.

This investment is part of Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence


We all have a role to play in ending gender-based violence and teen dating violence. Having youth lead dating violence interventions is key to successfully reaching young Canadians to provide them with essential skills and increased awareness about dating violence and gender inequality. The Government of Canada is proud to support the Students Commission of Canada’s Be the Change project. Together, we can empower youth to end dating violence.

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health

Often, we see that young people are their own best advocates and are role models for each other. Using a ‘By youth, for youth’ model, Be The Change will bring the voices, experiences, and insights of teens together to teach and learn about healthy relationships and environments. Our Government is proud to support this project as part of our federal strategy to prevent and address gender-based violence, and which puts youth where they belong in the conversation on teen dating violence: first.

The Honourable Maryam Monsef
Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality

Be the Change leverages a national youth-adult partnership network of 17 organizations dedicated to youth thriving to end gender-based and teen dating violence. Young people will be at the centre of the design of the program and will spend the next five years turning the knowledge generated through the program into concrete action projects and research that can be shared with the youth-serving sector.

Sharif Mahdy
Executive Director, The Students Commission of Canada

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. It is estimated that, globally, 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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