Backgounder -  Government of Canada supports survivors of gender-based violence in Québec


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 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.

Québec Projects

Today’s announcement profiled five projects in Québec selected for federal funding: 

Conseil des Atikamekw de Manawan

Project title: Healing and wellness circle
Funding amount: up to $1 million

With this funding, the Conseil des Atikamekw de Manawan will implement and monitor a communal-healing approach that includes cooperation with all members of the Manawan community and key stakeholders. Its goal is to create a supportive environment that is free of sexual violence.

The Conseil des Atikamekw de Manawan was established in 1906, in Québec, as an Indigenous government under the Indian Act. It aims to address the needs of the community, and to improve overall quality of life for community members, through initiatives such as youth protection programming for members of the Manawan and Wemotaci communities, while implementing the specific rules and regulations of the Système d’intervention d’autorité atikamekw (the Atikamekw authority response system).

“We thank the Government of Canada for this investment in our health and well-being. Our project will help ensure our community is a safe and welcoming place, free from violence.”

Thérèse Niquay, directrice des Services et projets communautaires
Conseil des Atikamekw de Manawan

DisAbled Women's Network of Canada (DAWN)

Project title: Rooting Resilience: Peer support for women with disabilities in Canada
Funding amount: $750,000

DAWN will develop and evaluate the effectiveness of a peer support model for women with disabilities and deaf women who have experienced violence. Subject matter experts will be engaged to ensure the result is a comprehensive model that addresses the complexity and unique needs of underserved communities of women with disabilities, including Indigenous, racialized, and members of the LGBTQ2 community, in both rural and urban areas.

Established in 1986, DAWN is a national, feminist, cross-disability, not-for-profit organization that works to end poverty, isolation, discrimination and violence experienced by women with disabilities and deaf women. As a resource centre for and about women with disabilities, it provides policy and program expertise, and works with an extensive network of partners.

“Women with disabilities are more likely to experience poverty, homelessness and gender-based violence compared to non-disabled women, as well as social exclusion and lack of accessible services – they have no peer support! This investment that DAWN Canada is receiving from the Government of Canada will help us to work with our partners to develop programmatic responses to gender based violence experienced by women with disabilities in Canada.”

Bonnie Brayton, National Executive Director
DisAbled Women's Network of Canada (DAWN)

Fédération des maisons d'hébergement pour femmes

Project title: Putting the safety of children and parents who are victims of violence at the heart of our practices
Funding amount: $998,439

The Fédération des maisons d’hébergement pour femmes will use this funding to develop and test a model of practice that will increase the safety and well-being of children and their mothers, as well as improve the interventions of youth protection services in the event of domestic violence.

The Fédération des maisons d’hébergement pour femmes was created in 1987 for women who were anxious to have a representative association for all social issues related to gender-based violence. They welcome women and their children and their organization is made up of shelters spread across different regions of Québec.

“We serve and support women and their children who are survivors of gender-based violence and help them understand and defend their rights. With the Government of Canada’s funding, we are now able to provide better training for workers from various organizations supporting survivors and their children and provide greater assistance for those impacted.”

Manon Monastesse, Directrice générale
Fédération des maisons d'hébergement pour femmes

La rue des Femmes de Montréal

Project title: Relational Health
Funding amount: $1 million

La rue des Femmes de Montréal will undergo a complete and thorough evaluation of the impacts of the relational health approach developed internally to support healing multiple traumas experienced by homeless women.

Incorporated in 1994 as a not-for-profit organization, La rue des Femmes de Montréal helps homeless women and women in distress in Montréal, Québec. It provides services, structured activities and support in the community.

“When I founded La rue des Femmes in 1994, I could not have imagined our services in relationship health would be needed to the extent that they are today. With this investment from the Government of Canada, we can support more homeless women to heal and return to a normal life.”

Léonie Couture, Directrice générale
La rue des Femmes de Montréal

McGill University

Project title: More than words: Studying the impact of arts based survivor engagement on families and communities
Funding amount: $739,200

McGill University will test Indigenous-led, youth-focused, arts-based practices focused on addressing sexual and gender-based violence, and the impact of the healing on families and communities.

McGill University is one of Canada's best-known institutions of higher learning and one of the leading universities in the world. With students coming to McGill from over 150 countries, its student body is the most internationally diverse of any research-intensive university in the country. 

“With this significant investment from the Government of Canada, Indigenous youth will lead innovative, arts-based projects to prevent and address sexual and gender-based violence in their communities. Driven by First Nations, Métis and Inuit priorities, More Than Words will also train mentors and highlight opportunities to support personal wellness and mental health at McGill University.”

Christopher Manfredi, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic)
McGill University

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