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Responding to Gender-Based Violence

Members can make a tremendous difference in the life of a child who witnesses gender-based violence. Almost six in 10 (59%) female spousal victims with children reported that their children heard or saw the violent episode. (3) The effects of witnessing gender-based violence can have a variety of physical, emotional, psychological, and social concerns that affect a child’s overall well-being and capacity to learn. ETFO offers its members programming to provide the knowledge and skills to address the effects of witnessing violence against women on students. 

What is Gender-Based Violence?

Gender-based violence is the varying ways power and control are used over another person based on their gender identity or gender expression. Gender-based violence “includes any act of violence or abuse that can result in physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering.” This term includes violence against women and girls, intimate partner violence and violence experienced by two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning (2SLGBTQ+) and gender non-conforming people.

What are the Statistics on Gender-Based Violence? 

Although violence can affect anyone, statistics consistently show that it disproportionately affects women and girls as well as individuals who identify as 2SLGBTQ+.  

Some statistics indicate that: 

  • When all other risk factors were taken into account, women maintained a risk of violent victimization that was about 20% higher than men. (2) 

  • Intimate partner violence, including both spousal and dating violence, accounts for one in every four violent crimes reported to the police. (2) 

  • Based on self-reported data, people who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual are two to three times more likely to experience violent victimization than heterosexuals. (1) 

  • Indigenous women experienced violence at a rate 2.7 times higher than that reported by non-Indigenous women. (2) 

  • Transgendered people are nearly twice as likely as cisgendered women to experience intimate partner violence in their lifetimes. (4) 

  • Women living with physical and/or cognitive impairments are two to three times more likely to experience violence than women living without such impairments. (5)

Challenging gender norms is crucial for both women and men. For men, the challenge involves questioning the behaviours, attitudes and beliefs that generate an understanding of masculinity; examining the impacts of a limited definition of masculinity on boys and men and enabling boys and men to take responsibility for their role in preventing gender-based violence and advancing gender equality.

Since 2007, ETFO has partnered with White Ribbon to raise awareness about the role that boys and men have in preventing gender-based violence. The Healthy Masculinities Incentive Fund is available for locals to host a teacher workshop or for members to organize boys’ conferences in their school board. The workshops and conferences cover a variety of themes ranging from media stereotypes to healthy attitudes about what it means to be a man.

For more information about hosting a teachers’ conference or organizing a boys’ conference, contact

If your local is interested in hosting a teachers’ workshop, please complete the following application form: PDF | Word

If your local is interested in hosting a boys’ conference, please complete the following application form: PDF | Word


  1. Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada. (2019, July 31). Government of Canada Announces Funding to Support LGBTQ2 Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence. Retrieved June 29, 2020. 

  1. Government of Canada, Statistics Canada & Perreault, S. (2015, November 30). Criminal victimization in Canada, 2014. Retrieved June 29, 2020.  

  1. Government of Canada, Statistics Canada & Sinha, M. (2013, February 25). Measuring Violence Against Women: Statistical Trends. Retrieved June 29, 2020. 

  1. Wathen, C. Nadine, Jennifer C. D. MacGregor, & Barbara J. MacQuarrie (2015). The Impact of Domestic Violence in the Workplace: Results From a Pan-Canadian Survey. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine. Retrieved June 29, 2020. 

  1. Odette, F. & Rajan, D. (November 2013). Violence Against Women with DisAbilities and Deaf Women: An Overview. Learning Network Brief (12): Learning Network, Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children. Retrieved June 29, 2020.