Gender-based violence

Gender-based violence (GBV) is any violence directed towards or against someone due to their gender expression, gender identity or perceived gender.

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Who is at risk

Anyone can be affected by GBV. HoweverFootnote 1:

  • Women, girls, Indigenous peoples and members of the LGBTQ2S+ community are more at risk of experiencing GBV
  • Factors such as age, geographic location, socioeconomic background and ethnicity can contribute to unique challenges that put certain populations at particular risk

In CanadaFootnote 2:

  • Women have a 20% higher risk of being victimized than men
  • Indigenous women reportedly experience spousal violence at a rate three times higher than non-Indigenous women. For women, Indigenous identity is a key risk factor for experiencing violence
  • Transgender and gender diverse people are nearly twice as likely as cisgender women to experience intimate partner violence in their lifetimes
  • Lesbian, gay or bisexual individuals are three times more likely than heterosexual people to report experiencing violence

If you or someone you know is a victim/survivor of GBV, help is available to you.

Impacts of gender-based violence

Gender-based violence:

  • influences health, social and economic conditions of victims/survivors
  • can impact a survivor's relationships with their family and in their community, particularly due to ongoing isolation of victims/survivors and their children
  • increases the risk of social isolation; community and family ostracism can place victims/survivors of GBV at greater social and economic risk
  • prevents individuals from reaching their full potential
  • increases the risks of substance abuse, depression or anxiety, chronic physical or mental illness, unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections

The law in Canada

  • It is against the law to harm or threaten to harm another person, or to engage in harassing conduct as defined in the Criminal Code of Canada.
  • All forms of discrimination against a person's sexual orientation, gender identity or expression are prohibited under the Canadian Human Rights Act.

The RCMP's role

When it comes to GBV, the RCMP has a mandate to:

The RCMP recognizes the importance of trauma-informed interventions. All RCMP employees undergo training on cultural awareness and humility.

Additional resources


External sources

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