Backgrounder -  Government of Canada supports survivors of gender-based violence in Kelowna


Women and Gender Equality Canada’s Gender-Based Violence Program

Following the June 2017 announcement of It’s Time: Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence, Women and Gender Equality Canada (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 other underserved populations, such as children and youth, LGBTQ2 communities, 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, meaning that more organizations, such as sexual assault crisis centres, 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, centres 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.

Kelowna Project

Today’s announcement profiled one project in Kelowna, British Columbia, selected for federal funding: 

University of British Columbia’s Okanagan Campus

Project title: Generating and translating knowledge on intimate partner violence and traumatic brain injury
Funding amount: $1 million  

The University of British Columbia’s Okanagan Campus will help front-line staff ensure that supports for survivors of intimate partner violence are better informed by an understanding of the impact of traumatic brain injuries. By sharing knowledge and best practices with front-line staff, women who are survivors of gender-based violence will receive better care and support.

Located in the Okanagan Valley, the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan Campus is a thriving, close-knit academic community. For the past ten years, it has contributed research and high-quality learning to UBC’s position as one of the top 20 public universities in the world. The data it gathers is crucial in a number of different and widely varying pursuits, including gender-based violence prevention and response.

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