What is gender based violence? (GBV)

Everyone has the right to live free from violence. However, many Canadians across the country continue to face violence every day because of their gender, gender expression, gender identity or perceived gender. This is referred to as gender-based violence (GBV) and is a violation of human rights.

GBV is not limited to physical violence and can include any word, action, or attempt to degrade, control, humiliate, intimidate, coerce, deprive, threaten, or harm another person. GBV can take many forms including cyber, physical, sexual, societal, psychological, emotional, and economic. Neglect, discrimination, and harassment can also be forms of GBV.

Who is affected by gender based violence? 

While violence affects all people, some people are more at risk of experiencing violence because of various forms of oppression, such as racism, colonialism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and ableism. Certain populations, based on key statistics, are more likely to experience GBV, including: women; young women and girls; Indigenous women, girls and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, and Asexual Plus (2SLGBTQQIA+) people; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual (LGB) and people of other sexual orientation than heterosexual; Transgender and gender diverse people; women living in Northern, rural, and remote communities; and, women living with disabilities.

Women in Canada are more likely than men to experience intimate partner violence (IPV). Self-reported data collected in 2018 shows that 44% of women reported experiencing some form of IPV in their lifetime (since the age of 15).Footnote2 Access more information on GBV key statistics for women.

To learn more on gender based violence go to Government of Canada Gender-Based Violence Knowledge Centre

Knowledge Centre

Crisis lines for those affected by gender-based violence


Victim Link BC

Toll-free: 1-800-563-0808 (multilingual services available) 


Family Violence Info Line

Toll-free: 310-1818 (multilingual services available)

Alberta's One Line for Sexual Violence

Toll-free: 1-866-403-8000

Text: 1-866-403-8000



Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan

Phone: 2-1-1

Text: 2-1-1


Domestic Violence Crisis Line, Family Violence Prevention Program

Toll-free: 1-877-977-0007


Northwest Territories Help Line

Toll-free: 1-800-661-0844


Women’s Transition Home Crisis Line

Phone: 1-867-668-5733