How We Work

As a national association that brings together organizations from across the country, EVA Canada acknowledges that the gender-based violence/violence against women movement is diverse and multi-faceted and encompasses sometimes diverging perspectives and viewpoints. EVA Canada is committed to navigating these relationships thoughtfully, maintaining an inclusive and collaborative approach and focusing on areas where perspectives converge.

We are constantly learning and broadening our circle and we strive to conduct our work in a way that is mindful of power dynamics and that mitigates harm. We actively seek out the insight of those who are most affected by the issue at hand with the goal of amplifying the voices of those who have historically faced intersecting forms of oppression and marginalization, including Indigenous, black and racialized women, the trans, non-binary and 2SLGBTQI+ community, women with disabilities, sex workers, and women with a precarious immigration status.

Our institutional change work involves some degree of connection with state and male-dominated institutions that may have historically caused harm. In order to bring about meaningful systemic change, we believe that it is important to carry out this work; however, we commit to doing so within the parameters of our own principles.

EVA Canada recognizes and commits to the need to further build and strengthen transparency and accountability within our organization and its activities in ways that demonstrate meaningful commitments to decolonization, intersectionality, and survivor-centred work. In prioritizing our commitments to these principles, we remain open to revising our structures, priorities, and actions as we continue to learn and engage critically with the ways in which our organization is embedded in and reproduces harmful and discriminatory systems and practices.

How We understand Gender-Based Violence

EVA Canada’s current gender-based violence framework is based on the following foundational understandings:

Gender-based violence occurs not only through individual acts but is embedded in our social institutions and is a manifestation of the broader inequalities, social norms and power dynamics that exist in our society. We must resist individualizing or pathologizing understandings of and responses to gender-based violence.

Gender-based violence a human rights violation that is rooted in the abuse of power and control.

Ending gender-based violence requires a structural analysis that recognizes and attends to the roots of gender-based violence and supports a complex and multi-faceted response that includes but also goes beyond addressing individual trauma towards creating systemic change.

Gender-based violence must be understood through an intersectional framework. To have an intersectional understanding is to map power, violence, and injustice in the context of oppressive structures and shed light on the relationships between gender and race, class, sexuality, immigration status, ability, and see how these identity factors can intersect to create additional barriers and layers of marginalization.

Women and children as well as specific communities are disproportionally affected by gender-based violence due to patriarchal and other historical and overarching systems of oppression, such as heteronormativity, racism, ableism, and colonialism that perpetuate ideas of entitlement, ownership, power and control of some over others.

Men and boys are also impacted by the confining and harmful norms around masculinity. Engaging men and boys in allyship work is a key component of gender-based violence prevention.

Preventative, transformative, and alternative responses must be imagined outside of the current systems.

Centering survivors means empowering and honouring their choices, holding space for their voices to be heard and elevated, and responding to their distinct needs in a holistic way.

Areas of Impact

The Ending Violence Association of Canada focuses our work across four intersecting areas:

Building an intersectional gender-based violence movement

EVA Canada believes that solving the problem of gender-based violence requires working across jurisdictions, sectors, and systems in ways that challenge siloed approaches. As a national organization, we look for opportunities to support relationship-building, knowledge-sharing, and solution-building with the intention of creating a diverse, intersectional network well-equipped to focus on addressing the structural and systemic inequalities that must be addressed in order to end gender-based violence.


Advancing the issue of sexual violence at the national level

Despite the prevalence of sexual violence in Canada, a persistent and significant gap exists when it comes to a coordinated, national voice and response to sexualized violence. Advocates, service providers, and institutional policymakers are clear: in order to build a strong, intersectional response to gender-based violence, the gap in national coordination and action to end sexualized violence must be addressed. EVA Canada works to respond to the urgent and distinct needs of survivors of sexual violence; to ensure a consistent, intersectional consideration and response to sexual violence across jurisdictions, sectors, and institutions; and to collect data and conduct research focus on the sexual violence sector and survivors.


Engaging in institutional change as a strategic approach to tackling gender-based violence

Gender-based violence is pervasive within many large, hierarchical, male-dominated institutions. As such, there is a widespread need to address the ways in which institutional cultures and dynamics contribute to and create conditions that allow gender-based violence to happen. EVA Canada believes in both supporting survivors already harmed within such institutions and preventing further harm. We work closely with federal and national institutions, organizations, and other networks to support institutional culture change toward ending gender-based violence.


Building capacity with gender-based violence service and advocacy organizations

In order to do the difficult work of supporting survivors and ending gender-based violence, the organizations doing the work – including EVA Canada – must have the resources and capacity to thrive as functional, strategic, and healthy organizations. Through its own work in building capacity in the areas of governance, human resources, financial management and sustainability, and fund development, EVA Canada works towards building resources to support organizational capacity building across the sector. This includes improving our own capacity to develop sound ways of working and accountability measures that are in alignment with diversity, equity, inclusion, and decolonization.