It is every woman’s fundamental right to live in safety and security in her home and community – free from the threat of violence.
The Shine the Light on Woman Abuse campaign increases public awareness of men’s violence against women by turning cities, regions and counties purple for the month of November. The campaign shows abused women that there is hope and help and they are supported as they try to live their lives free from violence and abuse. Purple is a symbol of courage, survival and honour and has come to symbolize the fight to end men’s violence against women.
The Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses (OAITH) has launched a new public awareness campaign, called Wrapped in Courage. OAITH is asking everyone to buy a purple scarf in support of ending violence against women and children in Ontario from their local shelter.
This is the largest effort in the world of men working to end men’s violence against women. Each year, men and boys in Canada are urged to wear a ribbon starting on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women until December 6, Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.
16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign
This is an international campaign linking violence against women to human rights. The 16 Day period links two significant dates: November 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and December 10, International Human Rights Day. Also included in the 16 days are November 29th, International Women Human Rights Defenders Day; December 1st, World AIDS Day; and December 6th, the Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre.
As Ontarians, we want to end violence against women, advance gender equality and build healthy equal relationships – but we may believe it is too large a task for one person to make a difference.
That’s not true. Even the smallest act can make the largest difference. Whether you are a woman at risk, a man taking a stand or a friend just learning the signs of abuse – below are some tips we can all use to promote equal relationships and prevent abuse.
Safety Planning for Women Who are Abused (Kanawayhitowin)
Safety Planning for Women Who are Abused (Neighbours, Friends and Families campaign)
Creating a Safety Plan (Peel Committee Against Woman Abuse)
Safety Planning (Springtide Resources)
Spousal violence has been consistently identified as one of the most common forms of violence against women in Canada.
Ontario is taking action. Ontario ministries have worked with partners in the community on the government’s Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence Action plans that take practical steps to provide support and resources to tackle these complex issues.
Check out the statistics on woman abuse and learn about the importance of ending violence against women.
Communities across Ontario offer services to women of all ages who have experienced, live with, or are in fear of violence. All of these services are free and confidential.
Action ontarienne contre la violence faite aux femmes offers a list of French-language and bilingual services throughout the province.
This confidential, 24-hour province-wide helpline offers crisis counselling, emotional support, safety planning, and referrals for women needing a shelter, legal advice or other supports. This service is free and is available in over 100 different languages including 17 Aboriginal languages.
1-877-FEMAIDE or 1-877-336-2433 (toll-free)
This confidential, 24-hour province-wide crisis and support number automatically connects the caller to a crisis line for French-speaking women who are victims of violence. It offers emotional support, safety planning and referrals for women who need shelter, counseling or other support. Calls are directed in priority sequence to one of the three regional lines in the province.
Find a women’s shelter for emergency housing and food. Shelters also provide counselling, support and referrals. Ontario 211 has a list of domestic violence women’s shelters.
Sexual Assault/Rape Crisis Centres offer a wide variety of services to victims and survivors of sexual violence, 16 years and over. Services include a 24-hour anonymous crisis/support telephone line, individual and group counselling, court, police and hospital accompaniment, information on the legal system, and community referrals. Francophone services are available in designated areas.
The Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres provides information on the location and contact information of centres across the province.
A network of hospital-based Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Treatment Centres provides 24/7 emergency care to women, children and men who have been sexually assaulted or who are victims or survivors of domestic violence. Services include emergency medical and nursing care, crisis intervention, collection of forensic evidence, medical follow-up and counselling and referral to community resources.
The Ontario Network of Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Treatment Centres provides more information on these services and the location and contact information of centres across the province.
Services provided by the Ministry of Attorney General
The Ministry of Attorney General provides information on programs and services for victims of crime, including:
Criminal Injuries Compensation Board
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, an independent agency of the Ministry of Attorney General, provides victims of crime the financial means to overcome the hardship they experience as a result of their victimization. The Board assesses financial compensation for victims of violent crime committed in Ontario who qualify under the Compensation for Victims of Crime Act.
Creating a Safety Plan
A safety plan helps women experiencing abuse reduce the risk of further violence to themselves and their children. It involves identifying steps to increase one’s safety and to prepare for the possibility of further violence.
Information and advice on safety planning is available through:
In addition to creating safety plan, there are other options for women to increase their safety if they are being threatened by a partner or ex-partner and/or are being stalked. If a woman is fearful that her spouse or partner or former spouse or partner will hurt her or her children, she can apply for a restraining order at a family court. The Ministry of Attorney General provides information on applying for a restraining order.
Safety for Pets
The SafePet Program, run by the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association, is dedicated to providing temporary housing and care for the pets of women who wish to leave an abusive partner. For more information, view the SafePet brochure.