More action is needed to end gender-based violence in Canada

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

On December 6th, PSAC commemorates women who have lost their lives to abuse and re-commits to ending all forms of gender-based violence.

In Canada:

  • More than 1 in 3 women experiences domestic violence throughout their lifetime
  • A woman is killed by her intimate partner approximately every six days
  • Indigenous women are killed at six times the rate of non-Indigenous women
  • Four in 10 women with disabilities experience some form of violence and women with disabilities are twice as likely to report severe physical violence
  • Trans women are at particular risk of street harassment, domestic violence and homicide

Some progress

In 2017 the federal government introduced a national strategy to address and prevent gender-based violence. The strategy has led to some positive initiatives including 7,000 new and repaired shelter beds across Canada and changes to the Criminal Code that clarify sexual assault and domestic violence offenses.

They also continued the work of the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Moreover, in February they announced 5 paid days of leave for federally regulated workers experiencing domestic violence – a positive first step but short of the 10 paid days that PSAC and other unions have called for.

More action needed

Far too many women continue to suffer violence. PSAC calls on the Government of Canada to:

  • Fully implement all recommendations from the MMIWG Inquiry, when they become available
  • Ensure every worker has access to 10 paid days of domestic violence leave
  • Eliminate barriers to accessing legal supports for women experiencing violence
  • Immediately increase funding to women’s shelters and sexual assault centres

On December 6th and every day, we must fight to eliminate gender-based violence in all forms.

December 6, 2018