Glossary of Acronyms and Terms

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA):
The purpose of the AODA is to develop, implement and enforce standards for accessibility related to goods, services, facilities, employment, accommodation and buildings. The target date for reaching this goal is no later than January 1, 2025.

Criminalized Women:
Includes women who have a criminal charge, are in the court system, have been or are incarcerated, do not yet have their records suspension (pardon), and women who are presumed to be involved in criminal activity and are in imminent risk of justice involvement. Interpreting female criminality in terms of the social differentiation of gender roles is one method for analysing female criminality which holds that gender is a social construct encompassing different social expectations, stereotypes, socially prescribed behaviour patterns, social control and which has an impact on societal living as a whole, as well as on the occurrence of crime.

Custody and Access:
Physical custody refers to where the child lives. Legal custody usually refers to the responsibility for making major decisions about the child, such as decisions about education, religion and health care. Joint custody means that both parents have legal custody of the child and make major decisions about the child together. A variety of living arrangements are possible for the child when the parents have joint custody. For example, the child may live mostly with one parent, while both parents make decisions jointly about important issues such as health, education and religion. Shared custody refers to situations where a child lives at least 40 percent of the time with each parent. It is possible to have both joint custody and shared custody of a child. Sole custody means that the child lives mainly with one parent, who also makes the major decisions about matters such as the child's education, religion and health care. When one parent has sole custody, the other parent normally has access. A parent with an order for access is entitled to spend time with the child. Unless the court orders otherwise, the parent is also entitled to ask for and be given information about the health, education and welfare of the child.

DV: Domestic Violence.
For the purposes of the Policies Matter Project, the term “violence against women is preferred to “domestic violence”. DV is regarded as a gender neutral term used by policy makers to make invisible the gendered nature of violence against women.

Gender-Based Analysis:
Is a process that examines the differences in women’s and men’s lives, and identifies the potential impact of policies and programs in relation to these differences. Gender-based analysis also examines the intersection of gender and sex with other identity factors such as income, race, age, religion, etc. Human Rights: The Ontario Human Rights Code is a provincial law in the province of Ontario, Canada that gives all people equal rights and opportunities without discrimination in specific areas such as housing and services. The Code's goal is to prevent discrimination and harassment because of race, colour, gender identity, sex, sexual orientation, disability, creed, age and other grounds.

Humanitarian and Compassionate:
A humanitarian and compassionate application (H&C) is a request based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds for special permission to remain permanently in Canada. An H&C application is the most common way that people who are unsuccessful with their refugee claim get to stay permanently in Canada.

Income security:
Income security is a key determinant of health and wellbeing for individuals, families and communities. Canadian and international studies support the role income security plays in defining the socio-economic status and its relation to social and health outcomes. Those representing higher social and economic strata are more likely to experience more positive states of (mental) health and well-being than those in lower strata. Additionally, evidence indicates that as the gap between rich and poor increases, the health of the population suffers.

Indicators of Safety:
Dimensions that contribute to women’s health, wellbeing and safety, including:

  • Income security/employment, access to training
  • Safe and affordable housing/shelter
  • Freedom from racism, discrimination and persecution
  • Access and Custody of Children<
  • Access to supports and services (e.g., legal representation)
  • Marginalized Women:
    Marginalization is a process of social exclusion that results in individuals and/or groups experiencing deprivation, either of resources or social links. A key aspect of marginalization is the economic, religious, social, and/or political disempowerment that a person may experience within a society on the grounds that they are lacking in social recognition and value. Typically, marginalization occurs concurrent with income poverty and reduced wellbeing. It manifests in limited access to housing, education, employment, healthcare, and social networks, and also in reduced social participation, access, and support dimensions.

    Ontario Works

    Partner Assault Response Program (PAR):
    A component of Ontario’s Domestic Violence Court program, are specialized counselling and educational services offered by community-based agencies to people who have assaulted their partners. Offenders are ordered to attend the PAR program by the court. PAR programs aim to enhance victim safety and hold offenders accountable for their behaviour.

    in the context of this Project the term “policy” is used broadly and includes federal, provincial or municipal legislation, regulation, policies and programs as well as the procedures, guidelines and practices that flow from these.

    Policy Intersections:
    Policies that “bump up” against each other to create conflicting policy responses that negatively impact women who experience violence and perpetuate unsafe situations for women.

    Racialized Women:
    Refers to a practice in which certain groups are awarded power, status, and prestige on the basis of their race while others are denied these things on the basis of race.

    Violence Against Women