Frequently asked questions

Framework to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence at Post-Secondary Institutions

  • Why is the Government of Canada facilitating the development of a Framework?

    In Budget 2018, the Government of Canada committed $5.5 million over 5 years, starting in 2018-2019, for Women and Gender Equality Canada to work with stakeholders, including provinces and territories, to develop a framework to prevent and address gender-based violence (GBV) at post-secondary institutions (PSIs). The Framework will contribute to consistent, comprehensive and sustainable approaches to preventing and addressing GBV at PSIs.

  • Why does Canada need a Framework?

    Gender-based violence (GBV) persists in Canada. It is preventable and a significant barrier to gender equality. While largely underreported, GBV is prevalent at PSIs across Canada. Approximately 261,000 incidents of sexual assault were reported by students in 2014, representing 41% of all reported sexual assaults in the country. Despite growing efforts across the country to address GBV at PSIs, approaches are inconsistent. There is no set standard or comprehensive resource for PSIs to draw from when establishing strategies, policies, or actions.

  • What are the objectives of the Framework?

    The Framework will be designed to support PSIs when developing or updating their GBV plans and policies. The plans and policy guidelines in the Framework will provide guidance on principles, prevention, support, training, response, accountability, and reporting, in addition to other elements pertinent to GBV at PSIs.

  • How will the Framework be developed?

    The Department for Women and Gender Equality has entered into a contribution agreement with experts in the field who will draft the Framework with the support and guidance of an Advisory Committee. The Framework will not be finalized until wider consultations are conducted.

  • Will funding be withdrawn from post-secondary institutions?

    Any discussions regarding the withdrawal of federal funding will be considered in the context of implementation discussions. The Government of Canada intends to consult with a wide range of stakeholders before considering any withdrawal of federal funding.

  • How will students and survivors be involved?

    Students and survivors are represented on the Advisory Committee. Additionally, during the development phase of the Framework, the drafters will conduct regional consultations. The consultations will place needs and perspectives of diverse students and survivors as a priority. The drafters have also retained student experts to assist them with framework development, drafting consultations and research.

  • Who will implement the Framework?

    The Framework will support PSIs to develop and implement their GBV plans and policies on campus. Implementation measures will be discussed through the Advisory Committee following the drafting of the Framework.

  • When will the Framework be complete?

    It is expected that the drafters of the framework will complete initial development this spring. Following initial framework development, implementation discussions will begin. Implementation may require additional supporting documents and planning. Implementation discussions will also guide Framework funding priorities.

  • Who will use the Framework?

    The Framework will be designed to support PSIs in Canada including universities, colleges, cegeps, and private colleges when developing or updating their GBV plans and policies.

  • What impact will the Framework have on the lives of Canadians?

    The goal of the Framework is to create a culture where fewer Canadian communities at PSIs experience violence and those who unfortunately experience violence are adequately supported.

Advisory Committee for the Framework to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence at Post-Secondary Institutions

  • Why is the Government of Canada engaging with experts, advocates, and survivors on the Framework?

    It is important to hear from experts and advocates, such as academia, civil society and front-line service providers, to ensure that the Framework is informed by the experiences, needs and challenges of those who are most directly affected by GBV, including survivors, and those who work who with them. Engaging with experts and advocates will also ensure the Framework is based on evidence of what works best to prevent and address GBV.

  • What are the objectives of the Advisory Committee?

    The Advisory Committee will provide advice and feedback on the development, consultation and implementation of the Framework.

  • Who is on the Advisory Committee?

    The Advisory Committee is an informed, vibrant group of individuals dedicated to preventing and addressing GBV at PSIs. The members of the Advisory Committee are experienced representatives with expertise in a variety of disciplines. They possess a broad understanding of issues related to GBV at PSIs, working from a trauma-informed intersectional feminist approach and recognizing the particular barriers faced by members of diverse groups (e.g. students, survivors, Indigenous women and girls, LGBTQ2 and gender non-conforming persons, newcomer and migrant women and girls, persons with disabilities, and other groups affected by gender-based violence at post-secondary institutions).

  • How were members of the Advisory Committee selected?

    Members of the Advisory Committee have been selected to reflect expertise in the prevention of GBV, survivor and student support, and policy development within the post-secondary education sector.

  • Who will be consulted?

    In order to understand the particular barriers faced by diverse groups, consultations will take place with students, survivors, Indigenous women and girls, LGBTQ2 and gender non-conforming persons, newcomer and migrant women and girls, persons with disabilities, and other groups affected by gender-based violence at post-secondary institutions.

  • What is the term of the Committee?

    Members will be asked to agree to a term of one-year. As the Budget commitment to the Framework includes five years of funding, it is expected that the Committee or working groups coming out of the Committee will continue to advise the Department for Women and Gender Equality on framework implementation.

  • What is the role of Possibility Seeds?

    Possibility Seeds, led by Farrah Khan, CJ Rowe and a team of student experts, is the lead drafter of the Framework. They will consult the Advisory Committee extensively on what needs to be considered and included in the Framework, and lead consultations with a wider range of stakeholders throughout the country, before submitting a final Framework report in spring 2019.

Federal-Provincial-Territorial engagement

How will the Government of Canada work with provinces and territories on the Framework?

The Department for Women and Gender Equality will work closely with provincial and territorial leaders from education and women- or gender-focused ministries and departments to ensure regional perspectives are considered and addressed.

Other

  • Who can I contact with questions?

    For enquiries, please contact communications@swc-cfc.gc.ca.

  • How can I get involved in the development of the Framework?

    There are two ways you can contribute. You can request to participate in a Listening & Learning session hosted by Possibility Seeds by emailing hello@possibilityseeds.ca. You can also provide a written submission on the Possibility Seeds website.

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