National Action Plan on Violence Against Women

What will it take to end gender-based violence in Canada?

What it will take is the federal government leading the way with bold, ambitious, intersectional investments.

We* have provided successive governments with expert knowledge, findings, experiences, best practices, international models, and blueprints for a bold, ambitious, intersectional National Action Plan (NAP) on Violence Against Women (VAW) and Gender-Based Violence (GBV).

In 2013, we tabled the Case for a NAP
In 2015, we issued a Call for a NAP and crafted a Blueprint.
In 2020, we released a Reissued Call for a NAP.

In 2021, we will offer a framework for a National Action Plan (see the preliminary findings here)

What It Will Take: Investment

  • Make escalating gender-based violence in Canada a central consideration in Budget 2021
  • Make good on election platform promises of $30 million to develop a National Action Plan – earmark it for establishing and overseeing the 10-year National Action Plan that was promised, not for consultations or short projects
  • Ensure $250 million is earmarked for ongoing emergency COVID-19 related GBV response while the NAP properly gets started
  • Fund a diverse and sustainable women’s movement by answering the Canadian Women’s Foundation’s call for $400 million in funding for ongoing, long-term operational funding to women-serving agencies and equity-seeking organizations

However, we know that a Canada free of gender-based violence will take billions, not millions.

Why does Canada need a National Action Plan?

6.3 Million.
That’s how many women and girls in Canada will experience sexual violence or intimate partner violence in their lifetimes.

Every 2.5 days.
That’s how often a woman or girl is killed in Canada.
In 2020 alone, 160 were violently killed here.
In 2021, 7 were killed in 7 weeks in both BC and Quebec.

Violence against women in Canada doesn’t stop.
In fact, it’s escalating.

Gender-based violence in Canada doesn’t stop.
The global pandemic has only exacerbated the situation for those who experience inequality.

Intimate partner violence in Canada doesn’t stop.

Disappearances and murders of Indigenous women and girls don’t stop.

The populations most affected by inaction are those with the highest risk of gender-based violence: People living in rural and remote areas. Indigenous people. Black people. People with disabilities. People of colour. Gender non-conforming and trans people. LGBTQ+ people. Migrant people. The needs of these populations must be at the centre of the National Action Plan.

In June 2017, the Government of Canada announced its Strategy to Address and Prevent Gender-Based Violence. While this is a step towards a NAP, it differs in that it only deals with federal institutions. Canada needs a NAP on VAW to ensure that women in all areas of the country have access to comparable levels of services and protection. A NAP would ensure a shared understanding of the root causes of VAW as well as coordinated and effective efforts across the federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal levels.

*Who are we?

We are a strong, pan-Canadian voice on VAW and GBV.

We are anti-violence leaders across Canada: experts, advocates, and survivors from national organizations, frontline service and support organizations, grassroots community groups, the labour movement, the law, academia, and the public.

Led by Women’s Shelters Canada (WSC), we have consulted and collaborated with stakeholders from coast to coast to coast to advocate for and develop a National Action Plan on VAW/GBV. At the end of 2020, WSC was asked and funded by WAGE to work with us to develop a strategic framework for a NAP. Our full report will be ready by the end of April.

We define violence against women and gender-based violence as inclusive of cis women, trans women, and people of all marginalized genders, including Two-Spirit, trans, and non-binary people.