The federal Gender-based Violence Strategy

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What is the federal strategy to prevent and address gender-based violence?

Announced in June 2017, It’s Time: Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-based Violence (the federal GBV Strategy) is the Government of Canada’s response to gender-based violence (GBV). It builds on current federal initiatives, coordinates existing programs, and lays the foundation for greater action on GBV.

The federal GBV Strategy’s initiatives are organized across three pillars:

The federal GBV Strategy addresses gaps in supports for diverse populations, including women and girls; Indigenous women and girls; Black and racialized women; immigrant and refugee women; Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and additional sexually and gender-diverse (2SLGBTQI+) people; women with disabilities; and women living in northern, rural, and remote communities.

The federal GBV Strategy is a whole-of-government approach to ending GBV. It encompasses all federal initiatives to prevent and address GBV; however, seven federal departments and agencies received funding for specific initiatives:

The Government of Canada has invested over $800 million and $44 million per year ongoing in the federal GBV Strategy since 2017–18.

To mobilize knowledge, WAGE launched the GBV Knowledge Centre online platform in December 2018. It brings together programs, research, and resources to support evidence-based policy development and decision-making. It also provides information on federal funding opportunities related to GBV and searchable databases that make existing data, evidence, and federal initiatives on GBV accessible. The platform also includes key information and initiatives in provinces and territories, as well as available resources for those affected by GBV.

Building on the foundation set by the federal GBV Strategy, the 10-year National Action Plan to End Gender-based Violence was launched on November 9, 2022 by the federal, provincial, and territorial (FPT) ministers responsible for the status of women. Its launch marks a historic milestone for Canada in its ongoing efforts to end GBV. The National Action Plan is a concrete step to fulfilling a long-standing commitment of FPT governments to working together towards a Canada free of GBV, a Canada that supports victims/survivors and their families from coast to coast to coast. It sets out a framework of action for anyone facing GBV, no matter where they live. The federal GBV Strategy will serve as the federal government’s contribution to the National Action Plan. 

Annual reports

Engagement process

Find out more about the conversations and engagements that informed the development of the GBV Strategy in 2016.

Regarding the National Action Plan to End Gender-based Violence, it has been informed by over 1,000 recommendations following extensive stakeholder engagements conducted since 2016 to inform the federal GBV Strategy. Since 2019, the federal government has advanced the work on the development of the National Action Plan by continuing to engage with a wide range of organizations and experts from the GBV sector, including through ministerial roundtables and multiple engagements with the Minister’s Advisory Council on GBV.

As we move to implement the National Action Plan, WAGE remains committed to continuing to engage with Indigenous partners and a range of civil society organizations from across the country to ensure that the views of GBV victims and survivors, GBV service providers, and experts on GBV, including from rural, remote, and racialized communities, are represented. Similarly, the advice of women with disabilities, youth, men and boys, and members of 2SLGBTQI+ communities will be important to ensure that the National Action Plan addresses the needs of the GBV sector and the people they serve.

Infographic version

The Federal Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-based Violence: Infographic version


To explore a list of gender-based violence terms, visit our glossary page.

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