NAWL signs letter calling for Canada’s National Action Plan on Violence Against Women and Gender-Based Violence to be bold, ambitious, and intersectional

Violence against women and gender-based violence are non-partisan, societal issues affecting us all. Women’s Shelters Canada, in collaboration with partners from across the country, have been advocating for a National Action Plan on Violence against Women (VAW) and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) since 2015.

Despite tireless efforts from countless feminist organizations across the country, rates of violence against women and gender-based violence have not significantly changed for decades. This is not acceptable. The Canadian government has made a commitment to a National Action Plan, however, no public information has been made available since the election. We call on the government to provide a timeline on the Plan’s development and implementation. The Liberal platform promised $30 million for its development.

Canada’s National Action Plan needs to be long term and include financial transfers to the provinces and territories. It needs to provide the required financial resources that will ensure that levels of services and protection are not dependent on one’s postal code.

Canada’s National Action Plan Needs to Ensure:

  • High-level commitment to a multi-pronged, coordinated, pan-Canadian approach
  • Consistency across and within jurisdictions in policies and legislation that address VAW and GBV
  • Shared understanding of the root causes of VAW and GBV
  • Consistent approaches to prevention of and responses toVAW and GBV

Canada’s National Action Plan Needs to Include:

  • New commitments and clear targets
  • Coordinated, clear, and effective services and systems for survivors of VAW and GBV that respect and respond to intersectionality
  • Universal coverage of response mechanisms for survivors
  • Review of all justice mechanisms including policing, prosecution, and offender management practices
  • Efforts to strengthen social policies that affect women’s vulnerability to violence
  • Support for reliable intersectional data collection allowing for 1) better tracking and evaluation and 2) greater understanding of the needs of the most marginalized, among them Indigenous women and women with disabilities
  • Effective prevention mechanisms
  • Human and financial resources to support these measures

The Process for Developing Canada’s National Action Plan Needs to Include:

  • Consultation with all stakeholders, including frontline workers and survivors
  • The direct and meaningful participation of non-governmental stakeholders and a formal mechanism for their ongoing participation in the planning and implementation of the National Action Plan
  • High-level leadership and accountability from governments at all jurisdictional levels
  • Clearly-defined, time-bound goals measured against detailed baseline data

Letter Signatories

See the full letter here.