Final Project Report
Policies Matter: Addressing Violence against Women through Reflection, Knowledge and Action

Executive Summary
This report presents the key activities and outcomes of the Policies Matter Project. The Policies Matter Project undertook a significant gender-based analysis of policy and the impact of policy intersections on women who experience violence. As such, the project constitutes a remarkable contribution to the violence against women (VAW) sector. It summarizes the groundwork laid by earlier reports and refocuses on the policy intersections that inadvertently put women who experience violence at increased risk, while also proposing a framework for assessing the determi­nants of women’s safety.

The report catalogues many of the services, interventions and innovations being undertaken by various service providers to address the front line realities experienced by women, and to advance women’s safety and equality. The iterative nature of the project resulted in a process that achieved, among other things:

  • significant consultation across the sector
  • consensus-building
  • learning interactions across the human services system. 
  • A strong commitment from a core group of leaders throughout the Policies Matter Project produced a new and innovative web-based tool, the Blueprint for Action, for visualizing the diversity of conflicting policy and legislation that impede women’s ability to achieve safety in their lives and the work of those who serve them.

    The Policies Matter Project incubated two pilot projects that were implemented to support marginalized immigrant and refugee women and women with mental health and addictions issues. The project culminated in the development of an Action Plan that identifies public policy priorities and provides a roadmap that will inform the work of WomanACT and the VAW sector over the coming years. At com­pletion, this project leaves a centralized knowledge bank which is key to creating new opportunities for communication and collaborative action on policy issues that negatively impact women who experience or are at risk of experiencing violence. 

    Click here to download Full Report in PDF format (see attached)

    Click here to download Summary Reports in PDF format (see attached)