A Blueprint for Action on Policies Affecting Women who Experience Violence

The Policies Matter Project carried out a gender-based analysis of the impact of policy and systems on women’s safety, with a focus on immigrant and refugee women living in Toronto. The project:

  • Collected , summarized and analyzed federal, provincial and municipal legislation and policy;
  • Created an annotated bibliography of the literature that provides an analysis of policy as it impacts women experiencing violence;
  • Carried out focus groups and interviews with service providers, women with lived experience and decision makers to validate the findings from the literature review with real life experiences;
  • Hosted a Community Forum and facilitated a collaborative exercises to develop a high level action plan for addressing priority policy impacts and intersections, and
  • Incubated and initiated two pilot projects to address policy impacts and intersections

This new and innovative web based tool, the Blueprint for Action, is a key outcomes of the Project and is intended to share project findings, enhance communication and collaborative action among violence against women allies in Toronto and support other organizations to carry out gender informed policy work. The Blueprint for Action was developed in response to feedback collected from stakeholders and was designed to:

  • Recognize the initiatives already underway and working to address policy impacts;
  • Provide a repository for documentation regarding policy and violence against women;
  • Create a living document that illustrates, over time, what is being done by different players, tables and/or sectors to address violence against women policy issues;
  • Enhance communication and collaboration among violence against women allies
  • Provide short term, practical suggestions for improvements at the service delivery level, including service delivery process redesign or service provider training, and
  • Provide longer term suggestions for sustained effort to affect policy change or legal reform. The Policies Matter Project was carried out through the collaborative efforts of Woman ACT, the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic and Elizabeth Fry Toronto with funding provided by Status of Women Canada.

The Blueprint for Action is housed at the Woman ACT website. As information that has been collected and made available through the Blueprint for Action is not exhaustive, you are invited to engage in its ongoing development. Please contact Woman ACT to share your feedback at womanact@womanabuse.ca or 416-944-9242.