New federal investment will help end cyberviolence

News release

Project will empower women and girls to assess threats and promote responsible digital citizenship

August 27, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Women and Gender Equality Canada

Gender-based violence holds everyone back. It has long-lasting and negative health, social, and economic effects that span generations, and it takes many forms including physical, sexual, psychological, and online violence. Cyberviolence, or violence that takes place in the digital space, is real violence with real harm and real consequences and will never be tolerated. When women, girls, and people of all gender identities and expressions are able to live to the fullest, free from violence, we all benefit.

That is why today Karen McCrimmon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and Member of Parliament for Kanata-Carleton, on behalf of the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality, announced federal funding to help end cyberviolence and advance gender equality across Canada.

Canada’s largest science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) outreach organization, Actua, will receive up to $600,000 to reduce cyberviolence and promote responsible digital and community citizenship. Actua will develop innovative on- and off-line programming that empowers girls and young women to critically assess online interactions and threats in order to reduce cyberviolence and promote responsible digital and community citizenship. 


“Investing in national networks like Actua that empower and inspire youth to address this issue is crucial. We are taking an active role in preventing and addressing cyberviolence because it is real violence, with real harm, and real consequences. We will continue to work with community partners, the private sector, and other levels of government to end gender-based violence in all of its forms.”

The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P.
Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality

“Our government knows that when young women succeed, we all succeed. The Engage, Empower, Connect: Cyber-employment for girls and young women (EC2) project will provide hands-on, interactive education for young women in order to strengthen their ability to protect themselves against cyber threats. In addition, the project’s participants will learn essential digital skills that they can carry with them as they begin careers in law enforcement, public policy, and STEM fields. Our government is taking the necessary steps to promote a positive digital environment for all, starting with protecting the internet's most vulnerable users.”

Karen McCrimmon
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Member of Parliament for Kanata-Carleton 

“Actua is pleased to be receiving support from the federal government on a critical cyber-empowerment initiative to help prevent online victimization of Canadian girls and young women. The pilot project will be focused on delivering asset-based programming through digital skill development, and the creation of positive online connections. Actua is committed to building digital citizenship in youth, leading to a new cyber-smart generation ready to embrace the challenges of the digital age.”

Jennifer Flanagan, President and CEO

Quick facts

  • In June 2017, Women and Gender Equality Canada announced the first-ever federal Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence (GBV).

  • To date, the Government of Canada has invested over $200 million across government to prevent GBV, support survivors and their families, and promote responsive legal and justice systems.

  • Public Safety Canada’s Preventing Bullying and Cyberbullying initiative was launched in 2018. As part of this initiative, a public opinion research survey has been conducted with parents and youth, and two research reports are in development. In addition, ‘cyberbullying’ was included as a priority issue in Public Safety Canada’s 2018 Call for Applications under the National Crime Prevention Strategy. Community-based intervention projects are currently in development. Public Safety Canada will use these projects to explore effective practices in the prevention and reduction of cyberbullying in Canada.

  • In 2014, about 17% of Canadians aged 15 to 29 (1.1 million people) reported they had experienced cyberbullying or cyberstalking online.

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Braeson Holland
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality

Valérie Haché
Senior Communications Advisor
Women and Gender Equality Canada

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