The Gender-Based Violence Strategy
What is the federal strategy to end gender-based violence?
Announced in June 2017, It’s Time: Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence 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 Strategy is based on three pillars:
- Support for survivors and their families; and
- Promotion of responsive legal and justice systems.
The Strategy will fill gaps in support for diverse populations, which could include: women and girls, Indigenous women and girls, LGBTQI2+ and gender non-binary individuals, those living in northern, rural, and remote communities, people with disabilities, newcomers, children and youth, and seniors.
Budget 2017 included $100.9 million over five years, and $20.7 million per year ongoing, to support the implementation of the GBV Strategy. This will include the creation of the GBV Knowledge Centre within Status of Women Canada. The Knowledge Centre will better align existing resources across government and support the development and sharing of research and data to enable more coordinated, evidence-based action on GBV.
The GBV Strategy is a whole-of-government approach to prevent and address GBV, with investments from:
- Status of Women Canada;
- the Public Health Agency of Canada;
- Public Safety Canada;
- the Department of National Defence;
- the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; and
- Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
The Strategy also includes initiatives from departments and agencies whose work, beyond the six funded partners above, is also critical to end GBV across Canada. This could include work by Indigenous Services Canada and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, the Department of Justice, Statistics Canada, and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
The funds are allocated as follows:
- $77.5 million over five years, and $16 million per year ongoing, to Status of Women Canada for a Gender-Based Violence Knowledge Centre, data collection and research, and programming;
- $9.5 million over five years, and $2 million per year ongoing, to the Public Health Agency of Canada to support implementing and testing ways to prevent GBV, including child maltreatment and teen dating violence;
- $6 million over five years, and $1.3 million per year ongoing, to Public Safety Canada to enhance efforts to address online child exploitation;
- $4 million over five years, and $0.8 million per year ongoing, to the Department of National Defence to increase funding for Family Crisis Teams, to support members of the Canadian Armed Forces and their families affected by violence;
- $2.4 million over five years, and $0.6 million per year ongoing, to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for cultural competency training for federal law enforcement officers; and
- $1.5 million over five years to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to enhance the Settlement Program.
Budget 2018 proposes to provide an additional $86 million over five years, starting in 2018-19, and $20.0 million per year ongoing, to expand the Strategy. New investments will focus on:
- Preventing teen dating violence.
- Enhancing and developing preventative bullying and cyber bullying initiatives.
- Equipping health professionals to provide appropriate care to victims.
- Enhancing support for the National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre to increase investigative capacity of the RCMP.
- Expanding the High Needs Victims Fund so that more organizations, such as rape crisis centres, are better able to help population groups who are at the highest risk of experiencing violence. This investment will double the support provided to this initiative in Budget 2017.
- Providing support to sexual assault centres in close proximity to Canadian Forces bases so that members of the Canadian Armed Forces have access to a full spectrum of supports to address gender-based violence. This builds on other investments in family support services through Strong, Secure, Engaged, the Government’s new defence policy.
Also, proposed in Budget 2018 were the following key issues to address GBV:
- Expand the RCMP sexual assault review and support training and awareness of officers
- Establish a National Framework to Address Gender-based Violence in Post-Secondary Institutions
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