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 and exceptionalities.

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.


Today’s announcement profiled a project in Montreal that is receiving $850,000 in federal funding:

Y des femmes de Montréal (YWCA Montreal)

Project title: The Graduation Approach and Gender Based-Violence

This project will adapt and test a support model based on the Graduation Approach to improve the services available to newly arrived women survivors of gender-based violence, regardless of their legal status. Project activities will help these women and their families cope with their loss, improve their economic security and develop the ability to be independent within the community.

The Graduation Approach was first introduced by the Bangladesh Rehabilitation Assistance Committee in 2002 to help reduce poverty. It is a sequenced, multi-sector intervention that supports and enables the poorest and most vulnerable families to achieve sustainable incomes and escape poverty. By adapting the Graduation Approach to issues of gender-based violence, the project intends to close the service gaps for newly-arrived immigrant women who are survivors of gender-based violence and bring about transformative change.

Incorporated in 1875, the Y des femmes de Montréal is the city’s longest-standing not-for-profit organization. The Y des femmes de Montréal works with community stakeholders to reduce social inequality and addresses all forms of violence against women and girls. It provides supports in four main areas; employment, housing, youth, and community services. 

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: