Government of Canada provides funding to help victims of family violence

News release

16 June, 2020
Ottawa, Ontario

Family violence remains a serious issue in Canada and has long-lasting impacts on the physical and mental health of survivors. Violence of any kind is unacceptable, and the Government of Canada is taking action to help those who have been affected by family violence and the service providers who support them.

Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, announced nearly $750,000 in funding for McMaster University’s Preparing Providers to Recognize and Respond to Family Violence project. Through this new project, McMaster University will work with eight pan-Canadian associations to implement and evaluate the use of guidance, training resources and materials for health care and social service provider to better support survivors of family violence. Through this project, McMaster aims to improve the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours of the thousands of providers involved in recognizing the signs of family violence and providing a safe and effective response to survivors.

These materials and resources were developed through McMaster University’s Violence Evidence Guidance and Action (VEGA) project, which previously received funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada. The suite of resources includes online training, a practice handbook and interactional scenarios, with the goal of improving the response and support given to those dealing with family violence.


"Front-line organizations in our communities often provide essential and life-saving services to those affected by family violence. Far too often, children and youth, women and LGBTQ2 people experience violence at home, and this funding will ensure community organizations are better prepared to support them. Ensuring that people have the training, tools and resources needed to respond to survivors is crucial to ensuring that survivors receive appropriate care in a safe and inclusive manner."

The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health

"Our previous work has told us that professionals need more evidence-informed training to be able to safely recognize and respond to family violence and it is important to them; the partnerships we have established with professional associations reiterates this message. We are delighted to be able to lead the implementation and evaluation of VEGA. We firmly believe that investing in Canadian practitioners is an investment in Canada’s children, youth, and families."

Dr. Melissa Kimber
Assistant Professor at McMaster University and Lead of the Preparing Providers to Recognize and Respond to Family Violence project

"Family violence is a major public health problem with devastating consequences for children, women, families and communities. PHAC’s ongoing investment in VEGA ensures that important efforts will continue in supporting healthcare and social service providers to recognize and respond safely to family violence."

Dr. Harriet MacMillan
Distinguished University Professor at McMaster University and VEGA Project Lead

Quick facts

  • Funding for this project is provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada as part of its Family Violence Prevention Investment and Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence

  • The eight professional associations that McMaster University will work with during the Preparing Providers to Recognize and Respond to Family Violence project are: 

    • The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
    • The Canadian Paediatric Society
    • The Canadian Psychiatric Association
    • The College of Family Physicians of Canada
    • The Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada
    • The Canadian Association of Social Workers
    • The Child Welfare League of Canada
    • The Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians
  • In addition to working with professional associations, McMaster University will collaborate with the University of Toronto, McGill University and the University of Calgary to expand the impact and reach of this suite of VEGA resources.

Associated links


Cole Davidson
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Health Canada

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