We released the results of a new national survey on supporting an end gender-based violence, supporting the needs of survivors of abuse, survivor experiences of disclosing abuse, and the recognition and use of the Signal for Help. Sign up today to be be a Signal for Help Responder and get the tools and training you need to learn how provide judgement-free support to those facing abuse.

Most people believe …

Gender-based violence (GBV) needs to be openly and publicly addressed to end it

  • Everyone has a responsibility to stop GBV (90%)
  • Decisionmakers, community leaders, and workplaces should take proactive steps to address GBV and support survivors (90%)
  • Tools to identify and support those experiencing GBV should be taught in schools (88%)
  • They are empowered to help someone they know experiencing GBV (68%)
  • They can help end GBV overall (59%)

However …

  • 54% are afraid to help someone in public in case they put themselves or others at risk
  • 51% are afraid to help someone in private in case they make the situation worse

And …

  • 46% feel the issue of GBV feels too big to play a role in ending it
  • 24% feel GBV is a personal issue and not a societal problem
  • 23% feel intimate partner violence is none of their business if it doesn’t directly involve them

Reasons people didn’t disclose experiences of abuse:

  • 54% wanted to move on and try not to think about it
  • 35% felt there was no one they could tell
  • 32% felt they would be judged, blamed, or shamed
  • 27% felt they would not be believed
  • 15% felt it would put them at risk of harm
  • 12% were afraid their abuser would find out – 28% for people who are racialized
  • 18% felt they wouldn’t be given the help they needed

When people did disclose their most recent experience of abuse:

  • More than four-fifths were believed (82%) and treated kindly (80%) – 76% and 74% accordingly for people with disabilities
  • 71% did not feel judged, blamed, and/or shamed
  • 67% felt heard and validated – 56% for people with disabilities

But …

  • Only 33% were referred to helpful and relevant support services

And …

  • Despite 86% of people in Canada feeling they are able to support someone experiencing physical abuse, only 66% of those disclosing physical abuse feel supported
  • Despite 85% of people in Canada feeling they are able to support someone experiencing emotional abuse, only 70% of those disclosing emotional abuse feel supported
  • Despite 80% of people in Canada feeling they are able to support someone experiencing sexual abuse, only 63% of those disclosing sexual abuse feel supported

The Violence at Home Signal for Help is becoming more recognized:

have seen information about the Signal
have used the Signal or have seen it being used

Survey details: Maru/Matchbox conducted a survey on behalf of The Canadian Women’s Foundation. The survey was conducted from February 4th to February 9th, 2022, among a representative sample of n=1,500 Canadians with an additional sample of n=500 women. The sample was weighted to census proportions on age, gender, and region.

This project was funded by Women and Gender Equality Canada.