What is Intimate Partner Violence?

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is a form of gender-based violence that occurs within an intimate relationship. IPV includes acts of physical aggression, sexual coercion, psychological abuse and controlling behaviours. It can occur between current or past dating partners, sexual partners, spouses or cohabiting partners.

Why does IPV matter?

  • One in three Canadian women has experienced abuse at some point in her life
  • Every six days, a woman is killed by her partner or ex-partner
  • IPV leads to injuries and various physical, psychological, social and financial problems
  • At work, IPV can cause fear, anxiety, lower productivity, absences, and safety concerns for co-workers
  • The total cost of IPV is $7.4 billion per year

Who is most vulnerable?

  • Women are much more likely than men to be victims of severe forms of IPV, multiple victimizations, injuries and death.
  • Women from all backgrounds can experience IPV, but some groups are more vulnerable to abuse, in part due to a lack of services as well as barriers to existing services. These groups include:
    • Young, Indigenous, racialized, immigrant, refugee, non-status, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and Two Spirit women, women from particular ethno-cultural and/or religious communities, women living with a disability, HIV, or a mental health or addiction issue, and sex trade workers.
  • Men also experience IPV and may have more difficulty disclosing and accessing services due to gender role expectations and lack of services. Transgender, Two Spirit, gay and bisexual men are at higher risk.
  • Men and women from all backgrounds can perpetrate IPV, but some groups are at increased risk (e.g., young or unemployed, lower socio-economic status, history of childhood abuse, mental health or addiction issues)

Goal 1

Expand parenting education & support

  • Provide parent education focused on middle-childhood through to adolescence

Goal 2

Expand education on healthy relationships in youth

  • Expand the reach of TPH programs that promote healthy relationships
  • Continue to support local public school boards to promote healthy relationships
  • Work with City Divisions to incorporate healthy relationship content into their programming

Goal 3

Address the social and cultural norms that perpetuate IPV

  • Increase awareness and understanding of the social and cultural norms that perpetuate IPV
  • Support local initiatives that promote gender equality
  • Support community initiatives that engage men to prevent violence against women

Goal 4

Increase staff capacity to identify and respond to clients affected by IPV

  • Regularly review and update current IPV best practice guidelines
  • Adapt the IPV best practice guidelines for use by other TPH programs
  • Ensure front-line staff receive ongoing IPV skill development and supports
  • Increase the number of staff with specialized training
  • Ensure all TPH program sites communicate to clients that IPV is a public health concern
  • Conduct collaborative research on self-administered IPV screening methods

Goal 5

Ensure equitable access to TPH programs and services

  • Ensure policies, guidelines, programs and services are inclusive of all those at risk of experiencing or perpetrating IPV
  • Ensure services and programs are safe, welcoming, and appropriate for all

Goal 6

Increase our capacity to address IPV in the workplace

  • Train management and staff on IPV in the workplace
  • Work with the City to review the Domestic Violence in City Workplaces Policy and its implementation regularly
  • Work with the City to explore options for assisting employees to access legal counsel

Goal 7

Increase the public’s capacity to identify and respond to IPV

  • Disseminate the “Neighbourhood, Families, Friends” public awareness campaign

Goal 8

Increase access to resources and services that protect, support, and empower women

  • Enhance the capacity of domestic violence shelters to serve people using substances
  • Work with the City to identify opportunities to address the housing needs of those affected by IPV
  • Explore opportunities to deliver IPV-related services via enhancing existing or new community hubs

Goal 9

Foster coordination and collaboration with community stakeholders

  • Collaborate with community groups, organizations and businesses to address IPV
  • Continue to coordinate and collaborate with Woman Abuse Council of Toronto (WomanACT)
  • Work with relevant sectors to improve the inter-sectoral response in high risk situations
  • Support the implementation of the City’s Gender-Based Youth Violence Action Plan

Goal 10

Improve surveillance and research on IPV

  • Monitor the implementation of the IPV Action Plan
  • Develop a research agenda in collaboration with TPH, City, academic and community stakeholders
  • Explore mechanisms for collecting local data on IPV, particularly among youth