Ottawa, June 22 2021

The latest report from Women’s Shelters Canada (WSC) provides governments with the definitive answer to the question: What will it take to end gender-based violence in Canada?

Expert Engagement to Address and Prevent Gender-Based Violence: A Report to Guide the Implementation of a National Action Plan (NAP) on Violence Against Women and Gender-Based Violence was launched at a media briefing at 1pm EDT today.

100 recommendations for policy actions across four pillars within a feminist, intersectional framework provide a ready roadmap for the NAP and NAP Secretariat announced by the federal government in Budget 2021.

Referring to the crisis of violence against women (VAW) and gender-based violence (GBV) in Canada as a shadow pandemic – so dubbed by the United Nations last year – the report calls for the NAP to take a strategic, all-of-government approach.

“Developing and implementing a fully resourced intersectional NAP is a testimony to us as a country making a commitment to address the ongoing and unacceptable levels of gender-based violence in Canada,” said Lise Martin, WSC’s executive director.

“We know Canada can do better and we want to help make it happen. This report is part of our contribution towards this goal.”

Said Maud Pontel of L’Alliance des maisons d’hébergement de 2e étape pour femmes enfants victimes de violence conjugale: “The NAP must be enduring, go beyond politics, and take into account the expertise and experience of grassroots advocates.”

A new website – – went live at 12pm EDT today and outlines key takeaways from the report, how it connects to real cases of gender-based violence, and ways to support its recommendations.

Advocates are calling for the first stops on the road to a NAP to be establishing an Independent Oversight Body of Experts as early as possible, harmonizing the NAP from the start with the separate, ongoing efforts to end violence against Indigenous women, girls, 2SLGBTQQIA+ people, and ensuring a stable VAW/GBV sector.

Culminating 10 years of advocacy for a National Action Plan, the report is the result of three months of intense strategic engagement and analysis with anti-violence experts from across Canada representing 1000 person-years of experience and knowledge.

At the end of 2020, WSC was asked and funded by the Department of Women and Gender Equality (WAGE) to engage experts to develop a strategic framework for the NAP. The full report was delivered to WAGE on April 30, 2021.

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For more information:

For media enquiries, contact:
Kaitlin Bardswich, Communications and Development Manager

Women’s Shelters Canada brings together 14 provincial and territorial shelter organizations and supports the over 550 shelters across the country for women and children fleeing violence. If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, you can find your nearest women’s shelter and its crisis line on