The Family Violence Initiative has been the federal government's main collaborative forum for addressing family violence since 1988. The Family Violence Initiative brings together 15 partner departments and agencies to prevent and respond to family violence. The Initiative is led and coordinated by the Public Health Agency of Canada. The Agency also hosts the Stop Family Violence webpages.
The following federal departments and agencies are partners in the Family Violence Initiative:
The Public Health Agency of Canada coordinates the federal Family Violence Initiative (FVI) and hosts the Stop Family Violence web pages. The Agency is supporting enhanced work in family violence prevention through its maternal-child health programs for vulnerable populations. These programs focus on positive parenting, parental involvement, attachment, resilience and healthy relationships. The programs also serve as important points of access where women living in situations of abuse and violence may be referred to more specialized intervention services. The Agency also conducts surveillance on child maltreatment (including some aspects of intimate partner violence) on and off reserve through the Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect.
In addition, the Agency supports community-based programs that promote the health of survivors of family violence, and supports projects that strengthen public health capacity to address family violence.
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada provides funding to assist First Nations in: providing access to family violence shelter services and prevention activities to women, children and families ordinarily resident on-reserve; becoming more self-sufficient; providing prevention supports that allow individuals and families to better care for their children; and supporting greater participation in the labour market. It also developed Bill S-2 the Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act, which received Royal Assent on June 19, 2013 and came into force on December 16, 2013.
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation provides federal funding for shelters for victims of family violence to provinces and territories (PTs) through bilateral agreements under the Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH). IAH agreements provide PTs with the flexibility to design and deliver housing programs and initiatives, in order to meet their own local needs and priorities. Initiatives include, for example, new construction, renovation, shelter allowances and accommodations for victims of family violence. On-reserve, under the Shelter Enhancement Program (SEP), CMHC offers financial assistance for the repair, rehabilitation and improvement of existing shelters, and to assist in the acquisition or construction of new shelters and second-stage housing for victims of family violence.
Canadian Heritage supports culturally relevant prevention projects for Aboriginal women off-reserve to address the issue of family violence and conducts research and evaluation activities.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada promotes awareness and prevention of family violence issues through integration, citizenship, immigration policies and programs aimed at fostering positive outcomes for newcomers and their families. Through the Settlement Program, newcomers may benefit from settlement and integration initiatives needed to function and participate in Canadian society, and obtain help to find employment to achieve economic prosperity and independence. Programs such as women's-only language classes cover issues of family violence and spousal abuse. Culturally-sensitive information and orientation activities are also available to newcomers before they arrive and once they have settled in Canada in order to help them make informed decisions about their settlement, obtain information on Canadian laws and individual rights and responsibilities. Specific family violence prevention activities are available through needs assessments, counselling services and referrals for newcomers in abusive and vulnerable situations.
Correctional Service of Canada provides services and information to registered victims of family violence about the offender (i.e. release dates, parole conditions, participation in programs, institutional transfers, and other information.) Additionally, information about available local services and decisions about the management of the offender's case, including requests for conditions on upcoming releases is also provided. It also addresses offender family violence issues through research, treatment programs and staff training.
The Department of National Defence promotes awareness of family violence issues, supports programming aimed at the stressors often associated with family violence and provides support, counselling and referral services for members and families who are victims of family violence.
The Department of Justice reviews, researches and reforms criminal legislation and policy; funds community-based family violence projects; and provides public legal education and information support on family violence issues.
Employment and Social Development Canada contributes to addressing violence through its mission to build a stronger and more competitive Canada, to support Canadians in making choices that help them live productive and rewarding lives, and to improve Canadians' quality of life.
Through its First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB), Health Canada addresses risk factors linked to family violence on-reserve and in Inuit communities by supporting community-based health promotion and prevention programs. Further, through the Health Portfolio Sex and Gender Based Analysis (SGBA) Policy, Health Canada has a commitment to use SGBA to promote similar health benefits/outcomes for women, men, boys and girls in Canada, including those related to family violence.
Public Safety Canada's mandate is to keep Canadians safe from a range of risks such as natural disasters, crime and terrorism. Public Safety Canada's National Crime Prevention Strategy provides national leadership on effective and cost-effective ways to prevent and reduce crime among at-risk populations and vulnerable communities, by intervening to mitigate the underlying factors, i.e. known risk factors, that put individuals at risk of offending.
Public Safety Canada also supports Indigenous communities in their efforts to tackle safety issues through community-based solutions. Through the Aboriginal Community Safety Planning Initiative, Indigenous communities develop community capacity and strategic responses to safety issues, including the safety needs of Aboriginal women and girls.
The RCMP Family Violence Initiative Fund (FVIF) distributes annual funding to support communities in responding to Relationship and Family Violence, Victim Issues and Sexual Assault Investigators training. The objectives of the funding are to assist in preventing high risk groups from re-offending; foster prevention in Aboriginal communities; promote public awareness of relationship and family violence through conferences, seminars, presentations or workshops; assist victims of crime; and endorse Sexual Assault Investigators training. The RCMP FVIF supports front-line officers and community partners whose mandate is to respond to and reduce incidents of family violence. It allows for the development of resources, tools and information to educate on the prevalence and dynamics of family violence and to encourage victims and witnesses to seek assistance.
Status of Women Canada promotes the full participation of women in the economic, social and democratic life of Canada. It advances gender equality for women and removes barriers to women's participation in society encouraging women’s leadership and democratic participation, increasing women's economic security and prosperity and working to end violence against women and girls. Status of Women Canada is responsible for providing strategic policy advice, supporting gender-based analysis, administering the Women's Program, and promoting Commemorative Dates relating to women in Canada.
Through the Confidential Service for Victims of Abuse (CSVA), Service Canada works with provincial and territorial partners to increase personal safety for Canadians who are victims of intimate or familial violence or are at risk of serious injury or death.
Statistics Canada works to improve the availability of national level data on the nature and extent of family violence. Data from the justice and victims’ services sectors, as well as data collected from the Canadian population, help to capture changes over time in the nature and extent of family violence, its long term impacts, and outcomes in court cases involving incidents of family violence. In addition, Statistics Canada makes various data sets available through their network of Research Data Centres, located on university campuses across the country. These Centres provide researchers with access to microdata from population and household surveys, in a secure setting compliant with the Statistics Act, thereby increasing the research capacity related to family violence.