Yasir Naqvi MP for Ottawa Centre

Supporting Projects to Prevent, Address Family Violence 

eAwaz Local News

Projects will support those who have experienced, are experiencing, or are at-risk of experiencing violence.

Ottawa – Family violence and gender-based violence are serious public health issues that are strongly linked to mental health concerns and can have long-lasting consequences for survivors and for those around them. These issues touch families in all parts of Canada, and include many different forms of physical, verbal and emotional abuse and neglect. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting all survivors of family and gender-based violence and safeguarding the health and safety of those at risk.

Jenna Sudds, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, along with Yasir Naqvi, MP for Ottawa-Centre, on behalf of Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, announced close to $2 million in funding over four years to support projects by two Ottawa-based organizations, Carleton University and MediaSmarts. Their projects will support the mental and physical well-being of persons experiencing, or who may be at risk of experiencing, family and gender-based violence.

MediaSmarts will receive $1,005,000 to adapt, deliver, and evaluate their current digital literacy program to reach survivors of family violence across Canada who are living in shelters or transitional housing. The program will feature a series of workshops that provide important online safety, security, and wellbeing information to educate and empower survivors and their families to respond to and prevent technology-facilitated violence. The program aims to build survivors’ resilience and wellbeing by developing the confidence and skills to engage as active, informed, and empowered digital citizens.

Carleton University will receive $946,859 to adapt, implement, and test the inclusion of a trauma and violence-informed physical activity (TVIPA) approach into physical activity programs for women and children experiencing violence. This project seeks to create safe environments for approximately 225 women accessing partner sites in Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver, based on understanding the effects of trauma and its links to health and behaviour. The purpose of developing TVIPA practices is to create non-violent environments in which individuals can be empowered to make choices, collaborate, and learn.

Today’s funding comes at a critical time as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to negatively impact children, women and families at risk of violence due to disrupted services and additional emotional stressors affecting caregivers such as parental stress, depression and substance use.

This investment is an important step in the right direction, and will help build evidence on what health promotion interventions and supports work in Canadian communities. The federal government will continue working to prevent family and gender-based violence, support survivors, and break the cycle of violence in families and communities from coast to coast to coast.

“Everyone deserves to live safe and free from family violence, but for many women, that isn’t their reality. The funding announced today in Ottawa will be instrumental in helping those who have experienced or are at risk of family and gender-based violence find the support they need to build their self-esteem and achieve safety and stability in their lives. This investment is an important step forward, but we know we have more to do. Our government will continue to take action against family and gender-based violence and to build a future where all people are treated with dignity and respect.” – Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health