Newly formed Advisory Council to help shape Federal Strategy against Gender-based Violence

Minister Hajdu leading development and implementation of new strategy

OTTAWA, June 27, 2016 /CNW/ - The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Status of Women, met today in Ottawa with the newly created Advisory Council, which is tasked with supporting the development of the Government of Canada's Federal Strategy Against Gender-based Violence.

Despite a steady decline in Canada's overall violent crime rate, violence remains a reality for many women and girls. Statistics show that women and girls continue to be at higher risk of being victims of certain forms of violence than men and boys, including sexual violence and intimate partner violence. Gender-based violence also has a disproportionate impact on Indigenous women and girls, LGBTQ2S (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Queer and Two-spirited) and gender-nonconforming people.

The Government of Canada is committed to gender equality and ensuring the safety and security of women and girls is a priority. Reflecting this commitment, Minister Hajdu has been mandated to develop a federal strategy that will strengthen federal efforts to prevent gender-based violence through a coordinated, collaborative and evidence-based approach.

The Advisory Council will serve as a forum to exchange views, promising practices and research on issues related to gender-based violence. The members of the Advisory Council come from a broad range of sectors and areas of expertise, including prevention, LGBTQ2S issues, engaging men and boys, cyberviolence, sexual violence, violence against people with disabilities, violence against Indigenous women and girls, and the criminal justice system.


"I will be looking to the Advisory Council to work with me as I develop the Federal Strategy Against Gender-based Violence. Their counsel will be essential in ensuring that we get it right and properly meet the needs of Canadian women and girls."

The Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Status of Women

"I am looking forward to this opportunity to help shape the federal government's response to violence against women and girls and ensuring that diverse voices - including survivors of sexual violence - are heard."

Farrah Kahn
Sexual Violence Support and Education Coordinator, Ryerson University

"It is an honour to join this council of experts and share the Canadian Women's Foundation's expertise and perspectives on preventing violence against women and girls. By promoting a coordinated federal response to gender-based violence, this strategy will be instrumental in providing better support for survivors."

Anuradha Dugal
Director of Violence Prevention Programs, Canadian Women's Foundation

"To prevent violence against women and girls, we need to bring men and boys into the conversation. I am proud to play a role in the development of this federal strategy and will work to ensure that it considers how we engage men and boys in ending gender-based violence."

Todd Minerson
Executive Director, White Ribbon Campaign

Quick Facts

  • Violence remains a significant barrier to gender equality in Canada.
  • Over the next three months, Minister Hajdu will meet with experts and advocates from across the country, which will help the federal government develop better, evidence-based and more effective policies and programs.
  • Two online surveys will also be available on Status of Women Canada's website later this summer: one for experts and advocates and one for survivors or anyone else who would like to share their perspectives.
  • As a first step, the Minister has formed the Advisory Council on the Federal Strategy Against Gender-based Violence. This Council will provide guidance to the government on the engagement process and will inform the development of the strategy.

Related Product

  • Backgrounder – Members of the Advisory Council on the Federal Strategy Against Gender-based Violence (current members)

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  1. Amélie Aubut, Legal Officer, Judge Advocate General (JAG), Ottawa, ON
    Expertise: human rights law

    Amélie Aubut is a lawyer with the Judge Advocate General. She previously worked on civil and commercial litigation at Norton Rose Fulbright and as a lecturer at both Ottawa and McGill Universities.

  2. Tod Augusta-Scott, Bridges Institute, Truro, NS
    Expertise: men who abuse, supporting survivors, restorative justice, research

    Mr. Augusta-Scott, MSW, is known internationally for his work with domestic violence, restorative justice and narrative therapy. Since 1994 he has been the coordinator of Bridges, a domestic violence counselling, research and training institute.  He has taught in the n at Dalhousie University and worked as a restorative justice clinical supervisor for the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission.  He works with the Canadian Armed Forces. Mr. Augusta-Scott publishes and gives presentations both within Canada and abroad. His group manual for working with men who abuse has been officially adopted by three government departments in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador and the Northwest Territories. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the Canadian Association of Social Workers in 2013.  He is currently working on a documentary on domestic violence and restorative justice entitled A Better Man.

  3. Brenda Belak, Pivot Legal Society, Vancouver, BC
    Expertise: legal/justice systems, human rights, sex work, violence against Indigenous women

    Brenda Belak is the sex workers' rights campaign lawyer for Pivot Legal Society, a non-profit organization that uses law reform and strategic litigation to advance the rights of marginalized people. Brenda is working toward the decriminalization of sex work in Canada in order to promote the safety and human rights of people who do sex work. She was previously a human rights activist in Southeast Asia, conducting research and international advocacy on human rights and environmental abuses in Myanmar's civil war, including issues of sexual violence against women in conflict areas, forced labour, and trafficking. She has written a book on the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and Myanmar women's human rights and was the lead drafter of the country's first bill on violence against women. Brenda has practiced Indigenous law in British Columbia and worked on the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry. She believes that effective social change must begin and end with those most affected by injustice.

  4. Dillon Black, Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women, Ottawa, ON
    Expertise: LGBTQ, prevention, anti-oppression, cyberviolence, youth

    Dillon Black is a gender-nonconforming anti-violence advocate; feminist media maker meets social worker. Dillon is passionate about youth engagement and building capacity for community development as a tool to amplify and transform. 

    Dillon is active in anti-violence work locally and sees community-led, anti-oppression and resiliency frameworks as central to the work they do. Dillon is a board member of Queering 613 and is currently a project coordinator at the Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women on the Preventing & Eliminating Cyberviolence Project funded by Status of Women Canada. Additionally, Dillon is currently completing their Graduate Studies at Carleton University's School of Social Work. 

    Dillon uses the pronouns they/them.

  5. Bonnie Brayton, Disabled Women's Network of Canada, Montreal, QC
    Expertise: rights of women with disabilities

    Bonnie Brayton has been the National Executive Director of DAWN-RAFH Canada (Disabled Women's Network of Canada) since May 2007.  DAWN Canada is located in La Maison Parent-Roback, a Quebec feminist collective in Montreal.

    DAWN Canada has focused on advancing the rights of women with disabilities for nearly 30 years, both in Canada and Internationally.  Ms. Brayton is also the President of Coup de Balai - Clean Sweepers, a social economy organization providing home care services to people with disabilities and seniors in her community in Montreal. In addition, Bonnie is a member of the Steering Committee of the Feminist Alliance for International Action. In 2014, as part of Canada's celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference, Bonnie was one of 23 women in Canada to be named a Visionary. In January 2015, she was named one of Canada's 40 Women Change Makers by Canadian Living Magazine.

  6. Jeremy Dias, Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity
    Expertise: LBGTQ, youth

    Jeremy was born in Edmonton and grew up there until he moved to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, where he attended high school and founded and coordinated the Sault Ste. Marie LGBTQ youth group.  After coming out in high school, Jeremy faced extreme discrimination by students and school officials.  At 17, he began a legal case against the school and school board and, at 21, he won Canada's second-largest human rights settlement.  He used the money to found the Jeremy Dias Scholarship and the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity, which encourages tolerance through training and initiatives like the International Day of Pink.

  7. Nathalie Duhamel, Regroupement québécois des centres d'aide contre les agressions à caractère sexuel CALACS (Sexual Assault Centres), Montréal, QC
    Expertise: sexual violence, support for survivors, prevention, sex work, diverse populations

    Nathalie Duhamel is the coordinator of the Regroupment québécois CALACS, a province-wide network of sexual assault centres. RQCALACS is a feminist, non-profit agency dedicated to providing community resources, tools and support for women and girls who experience sexual violence. Member agencies provide direct assistance to women and teenagers who are victims of sexual assault, as well as legal accompaniment and prevention programs in schools. They also work to raise community awareness of issues related to sexual violence.

  8. Anuradha Dugal, Canadian Women's Foundation, Montréal, QC
    Expertise: prevention, diverse communities, research, trafficking, youth, cyberviolence, sexual violence

    Anu Dugal has been Director of Violence Prevention Programs at Canadian Women's Foundation for six years and, previously, was a Board Member (2002 – 2007) and Chair of the Violence Prevention Committee. She is currently responsible for all national strategies related to violence against women and girls and teen violence prevention, including trafficking. She oversees work in these areas with regards to grant making, knowledge mobilization, program enhancement, convening, coalition building and policy. Anu is very involved in social issues (violence against women and girls, teen violence, gender equality, urban agriculture and sustainable development) and she sits on the advisory group for Making Women Count at Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, as well as the Board of Directors of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation.

  9. Farrah Khan, Ryerson University, Toronto, ON
    Expertise: sexual violence, immigrant women, violence in the name of honour, campus violence

    Farrah Khan is a nationally recognized counsellor, educator and artist with over 15 years of experience addressing gender-based violence. She is the sexual violence education and support coordinator at Ryerson University and is co-chair of the Ontario Roundtable on Violence Against Women. Farrah conducts training across North America to address violence against women including sexual violence, "honour"-related violence and forced marriage. She holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Toronto. Farrah is the recipient of the Toronto Community Foundation's Vital People Award, the Canadian Women's Foundation Michele Landsberg Award the Canadian Council of Muslim Women's Women Who Inspire Award.

  10. Paul Lacerte, Moosehide Campaign, Victoria, BC
    Expertise: Violence against Indigenous women and girls

    Paul Lacerte has been advocating for the betterment of Aboriginal people for more than 20 years. He is the personal creator of the Moose Hide Campaign which started in 2011. It is a grassroots movement of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal men who are standing up against violence toward Aboriginal women and children. As part of the annual campaign, men wear a small patch of moose hide to symbolize their commitment to honour, respect and protect the women and children in their lives.

  11. Harriet MacMillan, Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON
    Expertise: violence against children and women

    Harriet MacMillan is a psychiatrist and pediatrician conducting family violence research.  She is a Professor in McMaster's departments of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences and Pediatrics, and she is a member of the Offord Centre for Child Studies. From 1993 to 2004, Harriet was the founding Director of the Child Advocacy and Assessment Program (CAAP) at McMaster Children's Hospital, a multidisciplinary program committed to reducing the burden of suffering associated with family violence. She continues to see patients as an active staff member of CAAP. Her research focuses on the epidemiology of violence against children and women and she has led randomized controlled trials evaluating the effectiveness of approaches to preventing child maltreatment and intimate partner violence. Harriet is co-principal investigator of PreVAiL, a Canadian Institute of Health Research-funded Centre for Research Development in Gender, Mental Health and Violence across the Lifespan and is Project Lead for the development of pan-Canadian public health guidance on family violence (Project VEGA - Violence Evidence Guidance Action).

  12. Nneka MacGregor, Women at the Centre, Toronto, ON
    Expertise: legal/justice system, support for survivors, immigrant women, research

    Ms. MacGregor is a survivor and advocate who works with government and other organizations to eradicate violence against women. She is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Women's Centre for Social Justice, also known as the WomenatthecentrE, a unique, non-profit organization that was created for women survivors of gender-based violence, by women survivors. Ms. MacGregor develops and delivers training to various agencies and organizations that promotes better understanding of the issues, and focuses on personal and political advocacy for women survivors, as well as on ways to engage men and boys in initiatives to eradicate violence against women.

  13. Lise Martin, Canadian Network of Shelters and Transition homes, Ottawa, ON
    Expertise: support for survivors, research, continuum of responses to violence

    Lise Martin is the Executive Director of the Canadian Network of Women's Shelters and Transition Houses. Ms. Martin led a collaborative process with 23 organizations which resulted in the development of a Blueprint for Canada's National Action Plan on Violence against Women. In June 2015, the Network developed and launched, an online tool that connects individuals with shelters across Canada. Since its inception three years ago, the Network has produced Shelter Voices, an annual survey of shelters. Lise was previously the Executive Director of the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women, as well as the Women's Worlds 2011 conference.

  14. Dr. Ruth Elwood Martin, Clinical faculty member in UBC's School of Population and Public Health, Vancouver, BC
    Expertise: public health, incarcerated women

    Dr. Ruth Elwood Martin is a family physician and a recognized advocate for incarcerated women. Dr. Martin began working as a family physician in Canadian correctional facilities in 1994 and has led the way on women's prison health research in Canada. Dr. Martin has advocated for the infant children of incarcerated women and developed Guidelines for Implementation of Mother-Child Units in Canadian Correctional Facilities. Dr. Martin maintains a part-time medical practice in British Columbia's Correctional Centre clinics and helped develop the University of British Columbia's Collaborating Centre for Prison Health and Education, which nurtures university-community-prison engagement. In 2015, she received a Governor General's Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case.

  15. Todd Minerson, White Ribbon Campaign, Toronto, ON*
    Expertise: prevention, engaging men and boys

    Todd Minerson is the Executive Director of the White Ribbon Campaign, the world's largest effort of men and boys to end men's violence against women. Todd has spent the past 20 years working in gender justice, HIV/AIDS prevention, anti-poverty work, housing and homelessness, and with at-risk youth. In addition, Todd is a member of the Minister's Permanent Roundtable on Violence Against Women in Ontario, has just completed a term on the UN Women Global Civil Society Advisory Group, and is currently Co-Chair of the Men Engage Global Alliance, a network of 600 NGOs from over 40 countries working on gender justice with men and boys.

  16. Yvonne Niego, Assistant Deputy Minister, Department of Justice, Nunavut, Iqaluit, NU
    Expertise: policing, justice system

    Yvonne Niego grew up in Baker Lake, Nunavut, the geographical center of Canada, located in the eastern Arctic region known as the Kivalliq.  Niego was first recruited to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in 1989, as a summer student. She was sworn in to the RCMP in 1991 and, in 1993, became the first female Inuk from Nunavut to become a full regular member through an Aboriginal Constable Development Program. She began her career in Iqaluit and spent several years on the job in her home town of Baker Lake.  She also spent some time away from the force, holding several positions with both the territorial and municipal governments.

    Niego was eventually recruited to the Community and Aboriginal Policing Directorate at RCMP Headquarters in Ottawa. Upon her return to Iqaluit, she was promoted to non-commissioned officer in charge of community policing for Nunavut, overseeing all community policing initiatives, including firearms safety and drug awareness. She is also an accomplished crisis negotiator. In the last few years, Yvonne has volunteered on the YWCA Agvvik Society board responsible for women's shelters in Iqaluit.  In September 2015, she retired from the RCMP and became the Assistant Deputy Minister of Justice for the Nunavut Government.

  17. Kim Stanton, Lawyer, Legal Director of Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF), Toronto, ON
    Expertise: Aboriginal, administrative and human rights law

    Dr. Kim Stanton is a Canadian lawyer and feminist advocate. Her legal practice has focused on constitutional and Aboriginal law; her academic work has focused on truth commissions and public inquiries.  Kim is the Legal Director of the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF), a national, non-profit organization that uses litigation, law reform and public education to promote and protect the equality rights of women and girls in Canada.



SOURCE Status of Women Canada

For further information: Nadège Adam, Director of Communications, Office of the Minister of Status of Women, 819-997-2494; Nanci-Jean Waugh, Director General, Communications and Public Affairs, Status of Women Canada, 819-420-6810

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