Community, Research

Funding helps CREVAWC protect family-violence survivors

November 26, 2020

The Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children (CREVAWC) has received just under $1.2 million from the Public Health Agency of Canada to reach 15,000 health, violence prevention and family law professionals across Canada.

The grant will develop training and collaboration opportunities among these sectors to protect the health and safety of family-violence survivors and those at risk.

"Survivors of family violence face tremendous barriers in accessing support in family court that is trauma-informed and sensitive to their needs and the risks they face. Inadequate understanding of this violence often intensifies and extends the negative health impact on survivors,” said CREVAWC Academic Director, Professor Peter Jaffe.

Patty Hajdu, the Minister of Health, and Maryam Monsef, the Minister for Women and Gender Equality, made the announcement during the beginning of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, which is part of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

“When kids are safe, when families are healthy, when women are thriving, we all benefit. This program is part of a government-wide effort to address and prevent gender-based violence,” said Monsef.

Family violence is a public health issue with serious and lasting impacts on the physical and mental health of survivors. According to Canadian police data, family violence accounts for close to one third of reported violent crime in Canada.

“Family violence is often hidden from public view, making it harder to stop or prevent. The COVID-19 pandemic is causing additional risk for children and families at risk of violence, with the combination of additional stress and services that can be more difficult to access,” said Hajdu.

Jaffe said some of those additional risks that COVID-19 has caused, include an increase in violence and isolation for survivors and difficulty in getting support.

“Working with research centres and networks across the country, we will be developing evidence-based guidance and resources. These needs are even more pressing in the face of COVID-19 with increasing family violence and greater challenges accessing the courts,” he said.

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign that runs annually from Nov. 25 to Dec. 10. This campaign encourages people in Canada and around the world, to question, call out and speak up against acts of gender-based violence.