Building Supports For The Gender-Based Violence Workforce

This project will explore the many systemic factors that affect the health, safety, and wellness of gender-based violence workers. Despite their exposure to stories of extensive trauma and violence through their work, gender-based violence workers often lack access to occupational health and safety supports for preventing and responding to work-related stress. Precarious employment and low wages are prevalent in the gender-based violence sector, all of which have serious impacts on workers’ health and wellbeing. The goal of this project is to unearth the hidden challenges faced by gender-based violence workers, and help create systemic solutions that will sustain the long-term health and wellness of the gender-based violence workforce.


Help us gather data that reflects the current reality of the GBV sector

Research tells us that repeated exposure to trauma on an ongoing basis can have prolonged negative effects on workers’ health and wellbeing, leading to vicarious trauma and burnout. Additionally, the high demand for service post-COVID-19, and systemic challenges like chronic underfunding, have led to a struggling gender-based violence workforce.

This project will gather data to add to the body of pre-existing literature on worker wellbeing, with a focus on the gender-based violence workforce. If you work or volunteer in the area of domestic, sexual or gender-based violence, tell us how your health, safety and wellness has been affected by your work. 


Who are gender-based violence workers and what are their health and safety needs?

Gender-based violence work is done by people with many different professional backgrounds in a variety of settings throughout the community. From legal help to shelter support, from advocacy to sexual assault counselling, gender-based violence workers support survivors with a multitude of needs. This project will engage workers and organizations from across the country and attempt to identify the needs of workers when it comes to health, safety and wellness. We will begin to examine and define the composition of this workforce, and what anti-violence work truly entails.



What systemic policy change is necessary to strengthen health and safety supports for the GBV workforce?


This project will use a systemic lens to make recommendations for sector-wide change that will benefit workers, organizations, and the sector as a whole. Each of these has a part to play in ensuring workplace health and wellness. Through this project we will highlight the organizational and systemic responsibilities that need to be fulfilled in order to address the occupational health and safety needs of anti-violence workers.



How can we work together to strengthen health and safety supports for the GBV workforce?


In carrying out this project, EVA Canada will be guided by a national advisory committee consisting of gender-based advocates and partners from across the country. We will also be engaging front-line workers, organizations, and institutional partners to cultivate productive conversations about worker health, wellness, and safety. For more information or to get involved, contact