Government of Canada Supports Initiatives to Prevent and Address Family Violence in Quebec
From: Public Health Agency of Canada
Projects will support families who have experienced, are experiencing or are at-risk of experiencing violence.
November 28, 2022
Family violence and gender-based violence are serious public health issues that are linked to mental health concerns, and which can have long-lasting consequences for survivors and for those around them. These issues touch families in all parts of Canada, and include many different forms of physical, verbal and emotional abuse and neglect by family members or intimate partners. Canada is committed to supporting all survivors of family and gender-based violence, and safeguarding the health and safety of those at risk of experiencing it.
Today, as part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, Élisabeth Brière, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, on behalf of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, announced more than $4.5 million of funding over four years to support five Quebec-based initiatives that aim to support the mental and physical well-being of individuals who are experiencing, or who may be at risk of experiencing, family and gender-based violence.
This funding comes at a critical time as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to negatively impact children and families at risk of violence due to disrupted services and additional emotional stressors affecting caregivers like parental stress, depression, and substance use.
Today’s investment is an important step in the right direction, and will help build evidence about how health promotion interventions and supports work in Canadian communities. We will continue working to prevent family and gender-based violence, support survivors and break the cycle of violence in families and communities from coast to coast to coast.
“Everyone deserves to live safe and free from family violence, but for many people in Canada, that isn’t their reality. The funding announced today in Montreal will be instrumental in helping children, youth, families and caregivers who have experienced or are at risk of family and gender-based violence find the support they need to build their self-esteem and achieve safety and stability in their lives. This investment is an important step forward, but we know we have more to do. Our government will continue to take action against family and gender-based violence and to build a future where all people are treated with dignity and respect.”
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health
“I have seen firsthand, in the eyes of women and children, the immediate and long-term impact domestic and gender-based violence has on the physical and mental health of survivors, as well as its lasting consequences for families, individuals, communities and society as a whole. The funded programs and resources will provide parents and community professionals with access to tools and training aimed at helping to support families and prevent domestic violence. We believe that providing appropriate knowledge and skills is essential to addressing this serious issue and taking action against family and gender-based violence.”
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health
“Through the Lantern program, Marie-Vincent is affirming its expertise in sexual violence against youth prevention. Sexual violence stems too often from gender inequality. We realize that by giving tools to young people and to the adults in their lives, we are training ambassadors able to identify risky situations as well as trusted adults to turn to. The Public Health Agency of Canada’s financial support will allow us to adapt the Lantern program for children 6 to 12 years old, which contributes to our dream of building a protective community free of sexual violence against youth.”
“Pregnancy is a specific window of vulnerability for women who have experienced childhood trauma and for the intergenerational transmission of that trauma’s impacts. The STEP program is one of the few trauma-focused interventions to be offered during pregnancy, and it therefore has enormous prevention potential. Thanks to this funding, pregnant women who have experienced trauma will have the opportunity to gain some perspective on their past and become the mothers that they want to be.”
Professor, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, and director of the STEP project
“Stakeholders from various backgrounds, including families themselves, saw the need to better support parents who had recently arrived in Quebec. The Espace Parents Initiative is a joint response to this need. It aims to promote parenting skills in order to support optimal children’s development. The intervention research will allow us to learn from what works well with this approach, to improve it, and then to disseminate it so that parents can flourish in their role despite the challenges associated with the immigration context.”
Sarah Dufour, Ph.D.
Professor, École de psychoéducation, Université de Montréal
“The Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC) is proud to be able to draw on the expertise of Professor Dion and her team to conduct this important research project for Indigenous youths and their families. With the financial support from the Public Health Agency of Canada, this project will provide tools to help parents put practices in place to prevent sexual violence, promote healthy relationships and provide sexuality education in order to better protect children. This project fits in with our institution’s desire to conduct research projects that have been jointly developed with Indigenous communities, and we are confident that it will produce direct, concrete results.”
Vice-Rector, Research, Creation and Innovation, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi
“Our Art et Contes program has already shown that artistic creation and story exploration have a positive influence on children’s well-being. With the funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada, we are now going to implement and evaluate a series of community-based creative arts activities with immigrant families living in Montreal’s Park Extension neighbourhood. The goal of this new project is to reduce parental stress and improve family dynamics in order to prevent violence in families and, eventually, thanks to the funding, to disseminate our knowledge with a view to expanding access to and implementation of our activities for various communities in need.”
Coordinator, Art et Contes, Park Extension Youth Organization (PEYO)
- One third of Canadian adults report having experienced maltreatment as a child.
- Family violence affects future relationships and future generations: children who have been abused, neglected or exposed to intimate partner violence are at risk of experiencing or perpetrating violence in adulthood.
- The Survey of COVID and Mental Health indicates risk factors for child maltreatment and family violence have increased. Risk factors include such as depression, parental stress and alcohol consumption. Additionally, 5 percent of Canadians reported concerns about violence in their homes during the third wave of the pandemic, between February and May 2021.
- The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence begins on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, until December 10, the Human Rights Day. It provides an opportunity for everyone in Canada to come together to denounce abuse, speak up alongside those who are impacted, and renew our commitment to end gender-based violence.
Senior Communications Advisor and Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health
Public Health Agency of Canada