In the News

Public Health Agency of Canada announces funding support for Supporting the Health of Survivors of Family Violence in Family Law Proceedings

November 25, 2020

November 25, 2020 - Ottawa, Ontario - Public Health Agency of Canada

Family violence is a public health issue with serious and lasting impacts on the physical and mental health of survivors. Violence of any kind is unacceptable, and the Government of Canada is taking action to help prevent family violence and support those who have been affected. According to Canadian police data, family violence accounts for close to one third of reported violent crime in Canada.

Today, as the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence start with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, and the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural and Economic Development, announced more than $3.4 million to support three initiatives aimed at preventing family violence and supporting survivors.

The University of Western Ontario will build the capacity of up to 15,000 practitioners and professionals from the health, violence prevention and family law sectors. Through the development of training and cross-sectoral collaboration opportunities, this project will contribute to the goal of protecting the health and safety of survivors of family violence and those at risk.

The Child Development Institute will help organizations deliver the Stop Now and Plan (SNAP) program across the country, reaching up to 900 SNAP-trained clinicians and professionals, including police, child welfare, government, education and Elders. SNAP is an evidence-based, cognitive behavioural model that provides a framework for teaching effective emotional regulation, self-control and problem-solving skills to children struggling with behavioural issues and their parents.

The Canadian Association of Midwives will build the capacity of non-Indigenous and Indigenous midwives to assist in safeguarding the health and safety of survivors of family violence and those at risk. Through this program, they will directly train 440 midwives across Canada and reach up to 1,850 midwives through various activities, reaching more than 18,000 women per year. Participants will be trained to help spot signs of family violence and provide assistance to victims. 

Quotes

“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. These projects will provide training and support so service providers can continue to protect those at risk of family violence and to support survivors of family violence.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health

“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. I congratulate all involved and thank them for their commitment to this important work.”

The Honourable Maryam Monsef
Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development 

“Indigenous midwives have an intimate knowledge of our communities, and the systemic roots of violence. This project will enable midwives to harness our knowledge and expand our capacity to address the harms of colonial violence by working with clients who are living its legacy.”

Claire Dion Fletcher
Co-Chair, National Aboriginal Council of Midwives (NACM)

“Continuity of care is a foundational principle of Canadian midwifery, enabling midwives to build trusting relationships with their clients and families. Midwives are in a unique position to recognize and respond to intimate partner violence in a constructive, socially-responsive and trauma-informed way. This project will enable us to amplify and adapt existing knowledge and resources for our primary care providers for the benefit of generations to come.”

Alixandra Bacon
President, Canadian Association of Midwives (CAM)

“Child Development Institute is delighted to have this opportunity from Public Health Agency of Canada to bring together SNAP Affiliate sites across Canada to exchange and enhance knowledge on effectively changing the landscape of children’s mental health. Our mission for SNAP’s Community of Practice (CoP) is to provide a system of informed evidence-based SNAP services throughout Canada. SNAP focuses on addressing child’s behavioural concerns and the associated child and family’s risks through a gender equitable lens. The SNAP CoP will help to provide the needed supports to reduce the probability of violence within the home and community by decreasing antisocial behaviours.”

Leena Augimeri, PhD
Director, SNAP International Headquarters
Child Development Institute

"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. Our project will build communities of practice across Canada to foster collaboration and build relationships among experts from the family violence and family law sectors together with the voices and perspectives of survivors. 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."

Peter Jaffe
Academic Director, Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women & Children
Western University

Quick facts

  • Funding for these projects is provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada as part of the Supporting the Health of Survivors of Family Violence investment and the Preventing Gender-Based Violence: the Health Perspective investment:
  • November 25 is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and marks the start of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. The premise of the day is to raise awareness to prevent and help end gender-based violence and to honour the survivors, victims, advocates and community-based organizations that work towards this goal. One of the aims of the day is to re-commit to ending gender-based violence and to take action.
  • The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign that runs annually from November 25 to December 10 (World Human Rights Day). This campaign unites people in Canada and around the world, to question, call out and speak up against acts of gender-based violence.
  • In Canada, we also recognize December 6 as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women to honour those who have experienced gender-based violence and to commemorate the tragic mass shooting at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal.

SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada | View original press release on the Government of Canada website