Department for Women and Gender Equality’s Gender-Based Violence Program


Following the June 2017 announcement of It’s Time: Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence, the Department for Women and Gender Equality (formerly Status of Women Canada) launched the Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Program in January 2018.

The GBV Program complements the department’s Women’s Program, and helps organizations working in the GBV sector to develop and implement promising practices to address gaps in supports for survivors and their families.

While violence affects people of all genders, ages, cultures, ethnicities, geographic locations, and socio-economic backgrounds, some populations are more at-risk and face additional barriers to accessing services. The GBV Program responds to this need by providing funding to eligible organizations at the local, regional and national levels for projects that address gaps in supports for specific groups of survivors, including Indigenous women and their communities, and other underserved populations, such as children and youth, LGBTQ2 communities and gender non-binary people, non-status/refugee/immigrant women, seniors, women living in official language minority communities, women living in northern, rural and remote communities, and women living with disabilities.

Call for concepts: Promising Practices to Support Survivors and their Families

In January 2018, Minister Monsef announced $20 million in funding for a call for concepts as part of the new Gender-Based Violence Program. Following Budget 2018, the funding for the Gender-Based Violence Program more than doubled so that more organizations, such as sexual assault crisis centers, are better able to help population groups at the highest risk of experiencing violence.

The GBV Program piloted an innovative approach to supporting community organizations, which includes:

  • a longer funding period of up to five years;
  • a two-stage application process, which reduced the administrative burden for applicant organizations. Less information was required in the initial concept phase, which meant a leaner application process for organizations;
  • eligible recipients were expanded to include labour groups and unions; provinces, territories, municipalities and their agencies; research organizations and institutes, centers of expertise, educational institutions (i.e. universities, colleges, CÉGEPs, secondary schools, school boards/school districts), as well as public health institutions, hospitals, and health care service providers; and
  • testing and evaluation of promising practices is emphasized, which will lead to clear impact and results for Canadians.

Peterborough Project

Today’s announcement profiled one project in Peterborough that is receiving $1 million in federal funding:

YWCA Peterborough Haliburton

Project title: Homeward Bound in Peterborough

The project will adapt the Homeward Bound model in order to improve the safety and economic security of women with children in vulnerable situations. It will provide them with housing that fits within their income, mentoring and supports, and child care assistance while they complete post-secondary education in high-demand fields. The project will also offer participants mentoring, support, and internship opportunities.

The Homeward Bound model has been successful in several provinces. It was piloted by WoodGreen in 2004 in the Toronto area and has since been replicated by the YMCA of Northern Alberta and the YWCA Prince Albert. It is a program that eliminates barriers one by one. The wraparound supports create a pathway to independence and family security. Through these accomplishments, the program has the long-term potential to break generational cycles of poverty. The YWCA Peterborough Haliburton will draw on lessons learned and program evaluations where applicable in the development and implementation of its project.

The YWCA Peterborough Haliburton was incorporated in 1897 as a not-for-profit Canadian organization. The YWCA Peterborough Haliburton supports the right of all women and their families to live free from violence, poverty and oppression as they build their desired futures. For over 120 years it has been a leader in helping abused women and children, providing safety, shelter/transitional housing, education, counselling and more.

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