Minister Monsef announces funding reform and $20 million to address gender-based violence

News Release

Targeted funding opportunities available through a “call for concepts” for projects that support survivors of gender-based violence and their families

January 17, 2018 – Peterborough, Ontario

Events such as The Globe and Mail’s “Unfounded” series, and the #MeToo movement and the Women’s March
are all contributing to rigorous public discussion on issues of sexism, misogyny, and gender-based violence (GBV). As a result of the growing societal focus on gender equality and equity, public and private sectors alike have faced increasing pressure to deliver positive, system change.

Today, at the Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre in Peterborough, Ontario, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Status of Women, announced $20 million in funding for a call for concepts as part of the new Gender-Based Violence Program. In June of 2017, the government launched the first federal strategy aimed at addressing and preventing GBV: It’s Time: Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence. Survivors of GBV were at the center of this strategy, and this call for concepts takes action to address the second pillar of It’s Time, namely to support survivors and their families.

The objective of this funding is to support organizations working in the GBV sector to develop and implement promising practices to address gaps in supports for Indigenous women and their communities and other underserved groups of survivors in Canada including LGBTQ2 communities and gender-non-binary people, non-status/refugee/immigrant women, seniors, women living in an official language minority community, women living in northern, rural and remote communities, and women living with a disability. Minister Monsef invited organizations to apply for this Government of Canada support, the largest pool of funding ever announced for programming that will specifically support diverse groups of GBV survivors and their families.

The call for concepts, Promising Practices to Support Survivors and their Families, falls under Status of Women Canada’s (SWC) new GBV Program. After listening to experts, survivors, and stakeholders across the country in the summer of 2017, the call for concepts was put in place as an innovative way to create funding opportunities that are more accessible and sustainable for organizations. And because this approach focuses on the idea stage, SWC hopes to engage a broader range of organizations, including those that until now, haven’t had the resources to complete full proposals—especially since this approach also provides intermediary support to develop fully detailed proposals after an initial concept approval. An important goal for this call for concepts is to inspire innovative solutions from—and synergy among—those who are already doing remarkable work in this fieldTo better advance equality issues and make lasting impact for women in Canada, SWC has implemented changes to the Women’s Program to strengthen its support and flexibility to funded organizations and initiatives making it easier for organizations to access resources, through for example, longer-term, higher value funding opportunities, and funding core programming.

Organizations can submit an application to the call for concepts by visiting The deadline to submit is 12:00 p.m. (PT), on March 1, 2018.


“Canadians mandated our government to develop and implement a gender-based violence strategy. We achieved this. Canadians have asked us to support the organizations who work tirelessly to provide healing for survivors and their families. We are doing this. These organizations have now asked us to invest in their sustainability by reforming the way we make funding accessible to them. With this new call for concepts approach, I am proud to say that we have.”

The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Status of Women

“The Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre has worked closely with Status of Women Canada in the past and we keenly understand the link between violence against women and the subsequent impact on all aspects of their life, whether it be as a partner, a parent, a provider, or a participant in the civic life of our community. We welcome brave and bold solutions in order to make relevant changes for Canadian women and in particular for women who experience violence because of who they are and where they live.”

Sonya Vellenga
Executive Director, Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre

"We are truly excited by the announcement of this new funding opportunity. LGBTQ2+ victims of intimate partner violence crimes have often been under resourced and ignored by the criminal justice system. This new call for concepts for projects to support survivors and their families will help to ensure that their voices are no longer silenced and that meaningful solutions and prevention strategies are developed."

Jeremy Dias
Director, The Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity


"We are really happy to see that our advice is being heard and changes implemented in response. This new process will have a significant impact on many organisations and their ability to access much needed funding to identify gaps in supports for Indigenous and other underserved survivors and their families."

Nneka McGregor
Executive Director, WomenatthecentrE


''This new approach to developing project proposals will greatly increase the possibilities for organizations representing the most marginalized women. It is the women who face complex and  intersecting barriers that have been the most underserved—these organizations know what the issues are but are often also the most resource challenged.''

Bonnie Brayton
National Executive Director, DAWN Canada

Quick Facts

  • Transgender people are nearly twice as likely as cisgender women to experience intimate partner violence in their lifetimes.

  • Women living with physical and/or cognitive impairments are two to three times more likely to experience violence than women living without such impairments.

  • Indigenous women experienced violence at a rate 2.7 times higher than that reported by non-Indigenous women.

  • Senior women are 24% more likely than senior men to face family violence.

  • This call for concepts is different from a regular call for proposals in multiple ways:

    • longer funding period of up to five years;
    • maximum funding amount has been increased to $1 million per project;
    • a two-stage application process reduces the administrative burden for applicant organizations. Less information is required in the initial concept phase means a leaner application process for organizations;
    • organizational support: funding will be provided to support the development of proposals (up to $30,000 per approved concept);
    • eligible recipients have been expanded to include labour groups and unions; provinces, territories, municipalities and their agencies; research organizations and institutes, centres of expertise, educational institutions (i.e. universities, colleges, CÉGEPs, secondary schools, school boards/school districts) as well as public health institutions, hospitals, healthcare service providers; and
    • emphasis of this call for concepts is on testing and evaluation of promising practices means clear impact and results for Canadians.


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Associated Links


Célia Canon
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Status of Women

Nanci-Jean Waugh
Director General
Status of Women Canada

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