Gender-based violence (GBV) is an act of violence that is rooted in exploiting the unequal power relationships between genders. Women, Girls, Two Spirit, Trans, and Non-Binary people are at the highest risk of experiencing gender-based violence. Acts of violence include experiences of emotional abuse, intimate partner violence, family violence, sexual violence, assault, sexual offences and stalking.

Gender-based violence can also include experiences of:

  • Name-calling
  • Manipulation
  • Forced sex or sexual acts
  • Control of money
  • Isolation from friends/family
  • Threats of harm
  • Grabbing, pinching, pushing or hitting
  • Stalking
  • Cyber-violence

Visit the Canadian Women’s Organization GBV fact sheet for more information regarding gender-based violence.

To get help

Crisis lines

  • 613-562-2333: The Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre’s 24-Hr Crisis-Line
  • 613-789-1141: Minwaashin Lodge violence against Indigenous women Crisis Line
  • 613-238-3311: Ottawa Distress Centre
  • 613-789-8096: Sexual Assault Centre
  • 1-877-330-6366: Trans Lifeline
  • 1-866-887-0015: Support Services for Male Survivors of Sexual Violence

How to help someone you think may be a victim of violence

Warning signs that someone is experiencing violence:

  • They make excuses for their partners’ behaviour
  • They become angry when others mention their partners’ behaviour
  • They seem to be sick more often
  • They make attempts to cover bruises or injuries
  • They seem withdrawn, sad, lonely, and afraid

Visit Western University’s guide for more information on how to identify if an individual may be a victim of violence.

When worried about someone else:

  • Remember that violence is everyone’s business
  • Share with the individual that you care about them
  • Listen without judgment
  • Acknowledge that they are in a difficult situation
  • Be aware of organizations and resources that offer support

Learn more:

  • Safety Planning: Tool to develop a safety plan for individuals who experience violence.