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.

Sexual Assault and Partner Abuse Care Program (24 hours / 7 days a week)

Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus

Phone: 613-798-5555 ext. 13770

Ottawa Police Service

Victim Crisis Unit: 613-236-1222 ext. 2223

Partner Assault Unit: 613-236-1222 ext. 5407

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

Fem'aide Crisis Line (24 hours / 7 days a week)

Phone: 1-877-336-2433 2433 (toll-free)

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


LGBT Youth Line


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


Mental Health Crisis Line 


Minwaashin Lodge

Provides programs and services to First Nations, Inuit and Métis women and children (regardless of status) who are survivors of domestic and other forms of violence.

Telephone: 613-741-5590 ext. 221 

Women’s Shelters - provide temporary shelter for abused women and their children

Safe Pet Ottawa – temporary housing and care for your pets

Sexual Assault Support Centre (24 hrs / 7 days a week)

Phone: 613-234-2266

Youth Services Bureau

Crisis Line: 613-260-2360 (24hrs / 7 days a week)

Online Chat:

The Walk-in Counselling Clinic

Wabano Centre


Ottawa Coalition To End Violence Against Women (OCTEVAW)


For more information on violence, please visit:

Status of Women Canada

Crime Prevention Ottawa

Contact Us