About Gender-Based Violence
Experiencing violence can have devastating health and social impacts on the lives of individuals, families, communities and Canadian society as a whole.
Gender-based violence (GBV) involves the use and abuse of power and control over another personFootnote 1 and is perpetrated against someone based on their gender identity, gender expression or perceived gender. Violence against women and girls is one form of gender-based violence. It also has a disproportionate impact on LGBTQ2 (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and two-spirit) and gender-non conforming people.
Gender-based violence includes any act of violence or abuse that can result in physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering. Examples of forms of violence and abuse include:
- physical violence;
- sexual violence (including child sexual abuse, sexual harassment and sexual exploitation);
- emotional and psychological violence (including threats and intimidation);
- online violence/technology-facilitated violence;
- financial abuse; and
- structural/systemic violence.
Some populations are more likely to experience violence and may face unique barriers and challenges that put them at particular risk. For example:
- women are at a 20% higher risk of violent victimization than men when all other risk factors are taken into accountFootnote 2;
- young women, aged 15-34 years, are at highest risk of experiencing violenceFootnote 3;
- Indigenous women (10%) were more than three times as likely to report being a victim of spousal violence as non- Indigenous women (3%)Footnote 4. Indigenous identity is a key risk factor for victimization among women, even when controlling for the presence of other risk factors.Footnote 5;
- women living with physical and cognitive impairments experience violence two to three times more often than women living without impairmentsFootnote 6;
- people self-identifying as homosexual or bisexual are three times more likely than heterosexuals to be victims of violenceFootnote 7;
- transgender people are almost twice as likely to report ever experiencing intimate partner violence, compared to the average rate experienced by women and menFootnote 8;
- 59% of senior victims of family violence were senior women, with a rate 24% higher than that of senior menFootnote 9; and
- women living in the territories are victimized at a rate eight times higher than those living in the provinces. Women living in the territories have a risk of violent victimization about 45% higher than men’s (when controlling for other risk factors).Footnote 10 Remote and isolated communities face particular challenges related to access and availability of support.Footnote 11
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