National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence Backgrounder


In January 2021, the Joint Declaration for a Canada Free of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) was endorsed by the federal, provincial, and territorial ministers responsible for the status of women. It laid out the Framework for Joint Action, identifying the vision, goals, pillars, and foundation for a ten-year National Action Plan.

The National Action Plan to End GBV has been informed by over 1000 recommendations through years of engagement with Indigenous partners and a wide range of stakeholders, including victims/survivors, front-line service providers, community leaders, experts, academics and civil society.

It builds on existing federal, provincial, and territorial approaches and strategies to prevent and address GBV. It is a strategic framework for action within and across jurisdictions with the goal of supporting victims, survivors, and their families, no matter where they live.

The Federal Budget 2021 committed $601.3 million over five years to advancing towards a new national action plan to end gender-based violence, and Budget 2022 proposed an investment of $539.3 million over five years, starting in 2022–23, to support provinces and territories in their efforts to implement the National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence.

Working together with provinces and territories

Over the coming year, Women and Gender Equality Canada will begin negotiations to establish bilateral agreements with provinces and territories in order to support the plan’s implementation in accordance with their regional realities and priorities.

These bilateral agreements will be flexible and support jurisdictions in addressing their respective challenges, needs, and individual priorities under the five pillars that are intended to guide cross-country efforts to end GBV:

Pillar 1:  Support for victims, survivors and their families:

GBV services provide critical, life-saving support and safe spaces, and they deliver social, health, and community services that protect and empower victims and survivors, including women, girls, and 2SLGBTQI+ people experiencing violence.

Pillar 2:  Prevention:

The National Action Plan to End GBV emphasizes primary prevention approaches that address the root causes of GBV to stop violence before it occurs. Prevention cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach.

Pillar 3:  Responsive justice system:

Over the years, changes have been made to improve the experiences of victims and survivors. These include the enactment of the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights and various amendments to Criminal Code provisions related to testimonial aids and victim impact statements, as well as changes to clarify the law surrounding sexual assault.

Pillar 4:  implementing Indigenous-led approaches:

Working with survivors and their families, Indigenous governments and partners, non-governmental organizations, provinces, and territories as well as working horizontally across federal institutions will help ensure a coordinated approach that supports sustainable progress towards ending gender-based violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people, no matter where they live.

Pillar 5:  Social infrastructure and enabling environment:

While GBV occurs across all socio-economic groups, populations that already experience socioeconomic inequities are at a greater risk of experiencing GBV.

For more information, visit National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence.

Note: Gender-based violence is a priority for the Government of Québec, which has invested significant funds to end violence against women. However, although it supports the overall objectives of the National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence, the Government of Québec cannot adhere to it because it intends to retain its full responsibility in this area on its territory. Through an agreement that respects its autonomy, the Government of Québec expects to receive its fair share of federal funding to support the programs, initiatives, and services to end gender-based violence that it puts in place based on the needs of its territory.

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