Violence Prevention

What is Gender Based Violence?

Ontario’s Gender Based Violence Strategy defines gender-based violence (GBV) as any form of violence based on:

  • gender
  • gender expression (how a person publicly presents their gender – appearance, name, pronoun)
  • gender identity (who you know yourself to be, an internal sense of identity as female, male, both or neither)

Violence is never okay. We all have the right to feel safe and live a violence free life.

Who is more a risk for GBV?

  • Women and children
  • LGBTQ2+ community
  • Newcomers
  • Indigenous peoples

What can gender-based violence include?

  • Intimate partner violence (violence from a past or current spouse or partner)
  • Physical violence (pushes, shoves, hits, slaps or kicks)
  • Sexual violence and abuse (any sexual activity without consent)
  • Emotional/psychological violence (makes threats, insults)
  • Harassment
  • Financial abuse (takes another person's money or property without permission)
  • Human trafficking
  • Any form of violence that creates or supports gender inequality (e.g. racism, homophobia etc.)
  • Cyber violence

How can you help?

  • Always believe the victim
  • Remember the victim is never to blame
  • If you suspect someone is being abused, talk to them in a safe place.
  • If safe to do so, get involved. In dangerous situations, or if you do not feel comfortable call 911 or ask for help from others.
  • If you suspect a friend or peer is being abusive, talk to them openly. Express concern about their unacceptable behaviour. For more information, visit Be More Than a Bystander.
  • Help raise awareness, change attitudes and behaviours. Become an ally!
  • Talk to your children about consent.  Explain that it must be actively and willingly given.
  • Teach your children early about healthy, safe and respectful relationships. Be a role model.
  • Refuse to join in and voice your disapproval when you hear or see degrading, abusive and violent attitudes and behaviours.
  • Promote family connectedness and parent engagement to help end the cycle of violence.

What is being done in the community?

A comprehensive approach to gender-based violence relies on the work of multiple community agencies and city partners. Here are some examples of the work being done in our community:

Crime Prevention Ottawa: contributes to crime reduction and enhanced community safety in Ottawa through collaborative, evidence-based crime prevention.

Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women (OCTEVAW): unites organizations and individuals in Ottawa and the surrounding region to end gender-based violence and abuse, including violence and abuse against women and children.

Sexual Assault Network: coordinates sexual assault services in the Ottawa area and also provides support, information and professional development to local service providers who work in the area of sexual violence against women.

Where can I get help?

There is a variety of resources in our community where you can access help, information and support.

Assaulted Women's Helpline (24hrs / 7 days a week)
1-866-863-0511 (toll-free)

Distress Centre Ottawa and Region (24hrs / 7 days a week)

613-238-3311

LGBT Youth Line

1-800-268-9688

Kids Help Phone (24hrs / 7 days a week)

1-800-668-6868

Ottawa Hospital: Sexual Assault and Partner Abuse Care Program

Emergency Room – Civic Campus

The Walk-in Counselling Clinic

Ottawa Coalition To End Violence Against Women (OCTEVAW)

613-237-1000

For more information on violence, please visit:

Status of Women Canada

Crime Prevention Ottawa

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