Sexual Violence

Learn from research and evaluations on statistics revealing the incidence and prevalence of sexual assault; the gender-based reality of sexual violence; the range of sexual violence experienced by women; health, mental health, and social consequences; the neurobiology of sexual assault, resulting trauma and potential secondary trauma associated with experiences in the justice system; myths and facts; the systemic factors creating vulnerabilities for Aboriginal women, women with disAbilities and Deaf women and others; barriers to disclosing and accessing supports; the limitations of the criminal justice response; supportive responses to women disclosing sexual violence; and effective training resources and public education campaigns.

A comparative analysis of victims of sexual assault with and without mental health histories: acute and follow-up care characteristics
This exploratory study examines 467 cases of sexual assault presented at the Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Care Centre in Ontario, Canada in order to characterize the victims of sexual assault as seen by a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) and to compare victims with and without preexisting self-reported mental health issues.  A total of 158 (33.8%) cases involved a victim of sexual assault with at least one preexisting mental health issue (most victims reported anxiety and depression followed by bipolar spectrum disorders, substance abuse and addiction problems, psychotic spectrum disorders, self-harm/suicidal ideation, eating disorders, and borderline personality disorder and dissociative identity disorder.  Victims of sexual assault with preexisting mental health issues were compared to victims without a preexisting mental health issue.  Results indicated that victims with a preexisting mental health issue were more likely to be older; taking prescription medications; and to be vaginally, orally, and anally penetrated during the sexual assault.  However, they were less likely to experience a drug-facilitated sexual assault.  No significant differences were found between the groups in terms of acute care characteristics (e.g., receiving emergency contraception, HIV PEP starter kits, and counselling referrals) and on-site follow-up care characteristics (e.g., giving a phone number, coming in for follow-up visit, and having any HIV testing).  You can access the full article through the library system or through a paid membership account.

A Definition of Consent to Sexual Activity
Criminal Code of Canada (2011)
This is section 273.1 of the criminal code of Canada that defines consent for the purpose of determining whether a sexual assault offence has occurred in eyes of the law. The section also describes specific situations where consent is not or cannot be given.

A guide for lesbian and bisexual women who have been affected by sexual violence
This 2014 guide is aimed at providing survivors of rape or sexual violence with information and help to find the support they need.

A Guide for Sexual Assault Survivors
This brief guide developed by Toronto Police and Victim Services Toronto is meant to inform survivors of sexual assault about the criminal justice process.  Topics include what happens after reporting; who investigates the case and lays charges; what happens after the arrest or if the offender is not caught; a description of the court process such as the preliminary hearing, trial, testifying, and the victim impact statement; and sentencing, appeals, and parole.  A list of support services and agencies is also provided.

American Perceptions of Sexual Violence: A Frameworks Research Report
Moira O’Neil & Pamela Morgan (2010)
This report summarizes the findings from a research study that explored the differences between professional’s understanding of sexual violence and the general public’s understanding of sexual violence. Overall, the findings indicated that professionals and the general public differed in their understanding of why sexual violence occurs, characteristics of victims and perpetrators, the nature of sexual violence, and how to prevent sexual violence from occurring. The report outlines the methodology of the study, analyses of the results, and recommendations to improve communication and lessen the gap regarding sexual violence awareness and understanding between these two groups.

Best Practices for Investigating and Prosecuting Sexual Assault
The Alberta Government developed this handbook to better inform police officers, Crown prosecutors, and all those involved with the criminal justice process of sexual offences about the impact and effect this crime has on victims and what resources are available to combat this type of violence.  Information and best practices for investigating and prosecuting sexual assault cases was obtained through discussions with senior Crown prosecutors, police officers, sexual assault and Victim Service advocates, sexual assault examiners, health care professionals, and others who work with survivors of sexual assault, as well as through an academic literature review.  Topics include definitions and concepts; sexual assault myths; the roles of professionals and the importance of collaboration; reporting to police; consent; drug-facilitated sexual assault; the Third Option (i.e., option of saying ‘maybe’ to reporting assault to police rather than just ‘yes’ or ‘no’); historical sexual assaults; dates sexual offences came in force with the Criminal Code; prosecution; criminal justice process; Dangerous/Long-term offender applications; vicarious trauma; facts and statistics; online exploitation; people with disabilities; cultural issues; sex trade workers; human trafficking; male victims; older victims; victims from the Rainbow community; and sexual violence in the context of intimate partner violence.

Best Practices in Policing and LGBTQ Communities in Ontario
This 2013 report from the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police’s Diversity Committee outlines best practices on policing and LGBTQ communities in order to assist police services to develop inclusive workplaces for LGBTQ police personnel and develop and maintain relationships with members of the LGBTQ communities.  The report provides definitions/terminology and outlines different procedures and practices for policing certain situations that may occur within the LGBTQ communities such as hate crimes; intimate partner violence; sexual assault; and sex work.

Beyond the Fence - Cattle in Transit
A recent study has revealed that more and more young girls view harassment as 'normal' and part of everyday life.  'Beyond The Fence' is Springtide Resources’ newest visual campaign to raise awareness about sexual harassment and violence against women and children. The campaign aims to help youth 13-29 identify the different forms of sexual harassment in everyday scenarios – from public transit to online spaces.  The first installment - Beyond The Fence: Cattle in Transit, explores some of the ways in which street harassment occurs.  The image is designed to be shared on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets.

Breaking the Links between poverty and violence against women: A Resource Guide
This guide was developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada.  The purpose of the guide is to support the efforts of women’s groups, community organizations and service providers in helping low-income women take control of and deal with the poverty and violence in their lives and inspire others to take action.  The guide explores the ways in which poverty and violence are linked; describes strategies and initiatives of groups actively working with women experiencing poverty and violence; and highlights ways that services and programs can be adapted to meet the needs of low-income women experiencing violence.

Canadian Armed Forces: Progress Report Addressing Inappropriate Sexual Behaviour
This 2016 report considers progress made by the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in addressing harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour on a recurring basis. This initial report covers the period of June-December 2015, and reviews CAF initiatives and changes taken in response to the External Review Authority’s recommendations, as well as actions and outcomes generated by Operation HONOUR. This report also identifies challenges to positive change and outlines next steps.

  • Appropriately classify reports of sexual assault or domestic violence.
  • Refer victims to appropriate services.
  • Properly identify the assailant in domestic violence incidents.
  • Hold officers who commit sexual assault or domestic violence accountable.
  • Maintain, review and act upon data regarding sexual assault and domestic violence.

Canadian Legal Remedies for Technology-Enabled Violence Against Women
This report, developed by Safety Net Canada of the BC Society of Transition Houses, discusses various Canadian legal remedies that could hold perpetrators accountable for technology-enabled violence against women.  The report outlines technology-related domestic violence homicides; the impact of technology-enabled sexual violence; whether laws need to be changed or added to combat this type of violence; victims’ rights to privacy and safety; and training and resources needed for the justice system.  The report is also presented in French.

Changing Attitudes, Changing Lives: Ontario’s Sexual Violence Action Plan
Government of Ontario (2011)
The Government of Ontario consulted with survivors, service providers and other stakeholders in developing a sexual violence action plan for the province. The plan addresses many forms of sexual violence (e.g., sex trafficking; sexual assault; sexual exploitation; sexual harassment) while acknowledging the intersectionalities (e.g., culture, economic status) of women and girls. The action plan discusses ways the government can prevent sexual violence by raising public awareness and education, improve services for survivors, and strengthen the justice response to sexual violence.

Changing Attitudes, Changing Lives – Ontario’s Sexual Violence Action Plan Progress Report
In March 2011, the Ontario government launched the Changing Attitudes, Changing Lives: Ontario’s Sexual Violence Action Plan.  The Ontario Women’s Directorate (OWD) developed the Sexual Violence Action Plan in consultation with ministries and more than 350 survivors, service providers and experts across the province.  The Action Plan takes a coordinated approach to preventing sexual violence and improving supports for survivors by implementing public education campaigns, developing training, and enhancing service system response.  This current report highlights the actions taken between 2011 and 2013 including: public education; supporting Northern communities; preventing sexual violence on campus; responding to sexual violence against older women; training for service providers; enhancing services; improving access to services for Francophone women; expanding access to language interpretation; combating human trafficking; strengthening the criminal justice response; and responding to the unique needs of Aboriginal peoples.

Child Alert: Democratic Republic of Congo
This report, written by UNICEF UK Ambassador for Humanitarian Emergencies Martin Bell, describes the effects of war on children and their families in eastern Congo.  Topics include: the number of conflict-related deaths; the burden of war; sexual assaults on women and children; children associated with armed groups or forces; how violence uproots children’s lives; children growing up without education or healthcare; and the election which can bring about change.

Comparing routes of reporting in elder sexual abuse cases
This study examined 284 cases of alleged elder sexual abuse and compared two routes of reporting: 1) reports to the criminal justice system and 2) reports to Adult Protective Services.  Victims who reported to the Adult Protective Services were more likely to reside in their own homes, not receive rape exams, and have cognitive disabilities.  The offenders were typically an intimate partner or family member aged 40 years or older.  You can access the full article through the library system or through a paid membership account.

Comparisons of sexual assault among older and younger women
Older women (55-87 years) who experienced sexual assault were compared to mid-age women (31-54 years) and young women (15-30 years) in terms of victim characteristics; presentation and service delivery characteristics; sexual assault characteristics; coercion; and physical injuries.  The study accessed cases from a Sexual Assault Care Centre in Ontario, Canada that occurred between 1992 and 2002.  Results indicated that older victims are more likely to live alone at the time of the attack; report higher rates of vulnerabilities such as psychiatric and cognitive disabilities; and be assaulted in their own home.  All women in the study were just as likely to be assaulted by a stranger (41%) as they were an acquaintance (41%).  The abstract for this paper is available free online.  You can access the full article through the library system or through a paid membership account.

Conducting Interviews with Survivors of Sexual & Gender Based Violence
This 2013 video series includes first-hand experience from trainees, experts, leading activists and survivors expanding on: considerations for filming, creating appropriate questions, safety & security, interviewing techniques and the effects of trauma on survivors.

Considering the Differences: Intimate Partner Sexual Violence in Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Discourse
A systematic response to intimate partner sexual violence is one that involves all levels of advocacy, legal, and political realms. The articles within this 2008 publication illustrate the complexities of intimate partner sexual violence (IPSV), while painting a picture of that systematic response. By capturing the voices of survivors, advocates and legal leaders in this movement to end violence against women, this publication will inspire you to look beyond traditional paths of service delivery, dig deeper into the root causes of intimate partner sexual violence, and expand your outreach to survivors. Additionally, it provides a screening resource tool for thought provocation and implementation support.

Criminal Code of Canada, Related to Sexual Assault
This document outlines sexual assault as defined by the Criminal Code of Canada.  The document was developed by the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region.

Decoding Media Messages About Consent: Using Consent Videos to Increase Media Literacy (2015)
This 2015 document, developed by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, includes lesson plans to be used in conjunction with a series of provided educational videos about consent.

Department of Defense Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military: Fiscal Year 2013
Every year the Department of Defense (U.S.) provides a report on all sexual assault reports made by and against Service members and highlights sexual assault programs, initiatives, and policy enhancements developed and implemented during the prior fiscal year.  In 2013, reports of sexual assault increased by 50% from 2012.  There were a total of 5,061 reports of sexual assault involving one or more service members as either the victim or accused.  There were 3,337 completed investigations of sexual assault with 86% of the cases involving female victims and 90% involving male perpetrators.  The Department of Defense plans to intensify their efforts and implement a coordinated Department-wide prevention strategy that will be designed to reduce the occurrence of sexual assault.  The Department will also continue to implement and improve a comprehensive and multi-disciplinary Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program that inspires reporting, provides a high quality response system, holds offenders accountable, and provides victims with advocacy and support services.

Developing Facilitation Skills: A Handbook for Group Facilitators
This handbook was developed to support and strengthen the capacity of people working in community-based or anti-poverty contexts to be involved in articulating, creating and contributing to social change in favour of people living in poverty.  Topics covered include: working with groups; learning how groups develop; preparing, planning and designing a session; learning to listen; developing and enhancing participation; difficulties and conflict in group; planning and decision-making sessions; evaluating and assessing; working with diversity and complexity issues; choosing materials and methods; exercise; skills enhancement; and resources.

Diary of a Country Therapist
This book is written by therapist Dr. Marcia Hill.  The book chronicles Dr. Hill’s thoughts and feelings about practicing therapy in rural Vermont.  The book looks into the trials, successes, and fulfillment of being a professional psychotherapist and topics include client empathy, therapies that work and don’t work, and maltreatment of women.

Dispelling the Myths about Sexual Assault
This list was developed by the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres to dispel some common rape myths endorsed by society.

Doing the Work: Surfacing the Social Context of Sexual Violence in Therapeutic Settings
Learning Network Brief 19
This Learning Network Brief addresses the challenge of integrating a systemic understanding of sexual violence in counselling/therapy with women.  The Brief includes statistics on this gendered crime and discusses what it means to define the social context of sexual violence and how a  counsellor or therapist can talk about this social context with survivors within a counselling setting.  Nicole Pietsch, the author, is the Coordinator for the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres.

Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault
Learning Network Brief 20
This Learning Brief defines and describes Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault (DFSA). Specifically, the brief highlights the two types of DFSA (i.e., proactive and opportunistic); what is known about victims/survivors of DFSA; what drugs are used and the signs or symptoms of DFSA; and how to respond and support victims/survivors.

Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault: A Guide for Canadian Sexual Assault Investigators, Forensic Medical Examines, and Prosecutors – The Making a Difference Canada Project
This guide was developed by the Making a Difference Canada Project to assist and support the efforts of investigators, medical examiners and prosecutors in collecting and presenting the best possible evidence for effective prosecution in drug facilitated sexual assault cases. This guide discusses definitions; guiding principles; evidence collection; investigative tools; evidence preservation; a DFSA investigation scenario; prosecuting DFSAs; and a guideline for “date rape” drugs.

Drug-facilitated sexual assault in Ontario, Canada: Toxicological and DNA findings
This study examined 184 cases of suspected drug-facilitated sexual assault in Ontario.  The majority of the victims were female (96.2%) with a mean age of 26 years.  In 64% of the cases, drugs found on toxicological screening were unexpected and included cannabinoids (40.2%); cocaine (32.2%); amphetamines (13.8%); MDMA (9.2%); ketamine (2.3%); and GHB (1.1%).  Male DNA was unexpected and found in 47% of the cases.

Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault: Information for First Responders
This information sheet was developed by the Ontario Network of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Centres to provide information to first responders of drug facilitated sexual assault (DFSA).  The resource defines DFSA and contains information on how to recognize a potential DFSA; why victims/survivors may delay reporting; and what first responders can do to help victims/survivors.

Eight Strategies for Doing the Work: Surfacing the Social Context of Sexual Violence in Therapeutic Settings
Learning Network Tool 3
This tool contains eight strategies that counsellors/therapists can use to integrate a systemic understanding of sexual violence in their work with women.   These strategies and examples were developed by Nicole Pietsch, the Coordinator for the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres.  For a full discussion see Pietsch, Nicole (April 2014).  Doing the Work: Surfacing the Social Context of Sexual Violence in Therapeutic Settings.  Learning Network Brief (19).

Elderly Victims of Sexual Abuse and Their Offenders
This study examined 284 cases of sexual assault against elderly women, that were reported to Adult Protective Services or the Criminal Justice System, in order to identify and examine the characteristics of elder sexual abuse victims; the markers of elder sexual abuse; who the perpetrators are; what the nature is of elder sexual abuse; and the similarities and differences between elder victims’ avenues of reporting and mental status.

E-Newsletter Issue 1: May 2012. The Network Comes to Life
The inaugural issue of the newsletter, introduces the Learning Network and describes our purpose, roots, mandate, and work. The issue primarily focuses on sexual violence, including Holly Johnson’s attrition pyramid on the estimated conviction rate for sexual assaults reported on victim surveys; myths and facts, systemic factors creating vulnerabilities for aboriginal women, the lived experience of disabled women who are sexually assaulted; supportive responses to women who disclose sexual violence; education campaigns; domestic violence training; and highlights of emerging and promising directions and initiatives in Ontario (e.g., risk assessment and management online curricula, Ontario Woman Abuse Screening Project, curriculum for women experiencing DV, mental health and substance abuse problems).

E-Newsletter Issue 9: May 2014. Sexual Violence Awareness
This Learning Network newsletter is on sexual violence. It positions sexual violence within the broader context of violence against women, defines what is meant by sexual violence, rape culture, and drug facilitated sexual assault.  Readers are encouraged to read statistics on sexual violence through an intersectional lens. Five courageous survivors share their experience (4 on video tape and 1 through a letter), illuminating different ways women are impacted by and cope with sexual violation. Be sure to check out the Learning Network Briefs and other online resources on the incidence and prevalence of sexual violence, promising responses to victims/survivors, training and education campaigns, and prevention initiatives.

Experiences and perceptions of sexual harassment in the Canadian Forces Combat Arms
This qualitative study interviewed 26 women employed in the Canadian combat arms regarding their experiences; their perceptions of women and leadership; and their perceptions of gender integration in the military and combat arms.  Six of the 26 women interviewed shared their perceptions and personal experiences of sexual harassment including the potential repercussions of reporting.  You can access the full article through the library system or through a paid membership account.

External Review into Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Harassment in the Canadian Armed Forces
This 2015 external review of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) finds “an underlying sexualized culture in the CAF that is hostile to women and LGTBQ members, and conducive to more serious incidents of sexual harassment and assault.” The report reviews issues of under-reporting and definitions as well as the culture of the CAF, processes and procedures, programs and external resources, training, and avenues to consider going forward.

Fact Sheet: Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women and Girls
The Native Women's Association of Canada created a database of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls across the country.  This resource provides factual information and statistics based on the database as of March 31, 2010.

Fact Sheet: Violence Against Women in Canada
This fact sheet on violence against women in Canada was developed by the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women.  The fact sheet discusses violence against women as a human rights issue and outlines prevalence data; information on contexts and contributing factors including the impacts of violence against women and barriers to seeking help; responses to address violence against women; and prevention strategies within a Canadian context.

Gender Differences in Police-reported Violence Crime in Canada, 2008
Roxan Vaillancourt (2010)
This report examines gender differences in violent victimization using police-reported data from the 2008 Incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting Survey (UCR2). Gender differences with prevalence rates, age when victimized, characteristics of the perpetrator, and types of violence (i.e., physical assaults; sexual assaults; homicides; robbery; harassment; and threats) are summarized.

Global and regional estimates of violence against women: prevalence and health effects of intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence
This report, developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the South African Medical research Council, presents data on the global prevalence of intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence.  The report outlines the methodology; prevalence estimates; health effects of these types of violence; and a summary of the findings including the limitations of the review and implications.

Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Vicarious Trauma among Researchers of Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence
These 2015 guidelines outline recommendations for preventing and responding to vicarious trauma, which may be experienced by individuals involved in research on sexual and intimate partner violence  (SIPV) (e.g. independent researchers, research assistants, data coders, students). A framework for understanding vicarious trauma among researchers of SIPV is provided in addition to guidance for ethics review boards to ensure research proposals address the issue of vicarious trauma.

Health care for women subjected to intimate partner violence or sexual violence: A clinical handbook
This 2014 handbook published by the World Health Organization offers easy steps and suggestions to help health-care providers assist women who have been subjected to violence. The handbook has four parts: 1) awareness about violence against women; 2) first-line support for intimate partner violence and sexual assault; 3) additional clinical care after sexual assault; 4) additional support for mental health. There are job aids throughout this handbook to help you while caring for and supporting a woman who has experienced or is experiencing violence. The guidelines on which this handbook is based do not directly address young women (under age 18) or men. Nonetheless, many of the suggestions for care may be applicable to young women or to men.ation literature on the effectiveness of VAW training initiatives. The report outlines the types and levels of evaluation, importance of logic models - including examples and guides on developing them, common evaluation challenges, and critical steps to consider when conducting an evaluation of VAW training programs.

Identifying and Preventing Gender Bias in Law Enforcement Response to Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence
This 2015 publication uses a series of detailed case examples to advise law enforcement agencies to incorporate the following principles into clear policies, comprehensive training and effective supervision protocols:

  • Recognize and address biases, assumptions and stereotypes about victims.
  • Treat all victims with respect and employ interviewing tactics that encourage a victim to participate and provide facts about the incident.
  • Investigate sexual assault or domestic violence complaints thoroughly and effectively.

Implications of the Shrinking Space for Feminist Ant-Violence Advocacy
This discussion paper examines the impact of corporatization on feminists and feminist organizations in Canada, specifically looking at the deterrence from the important role in advancing structural social change.  Topics include: the restrictive interpretation of charitable activities; severe cuts to health and social programs; the blurring of public and private funding strategies; and the conversion of social perception about the value of civil versus corporate influence on governance.

Infographic on the Meaning of Consent
This infographic on the meaning of consent was developed by the Learning Network to promote Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  Ten simple images are colourfully displayed to clarify what constitutes consent and what is not consent.

Information Guide for Victims of Sexual Assault
This guide was developed by the Toronto Police Service Sex Crimes Unit to provide victims/survivors of sexual assault information about the criminal justice response to sexual offences and where help is available.  Topics include: sexual violence and the law; the Criminal Code sexual assault offences; what to do if you or someone you know is sexually assaulted; what to expect during a police investigation, medical examination, court proceedings, and after trial; financial compensation; glossary of terms; and important contacts/resources.

Intentional Drugging and Sexual Assault
This infographic provides statistics on victims/survivors of drug facilitated sexual assault (DFSA).  The infographic was developed by the Ontario Network of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Centres.

Interim Report. Call into the night: An overview of violence against Aboriginal women
Standing Committee on the Status of Women (2011)
This report summarizes information from Aboriginal organizations (e.g., women’s shelters; friendship centres), government departments, service providers, academics, and Aboriginal women themselves on the prevalence and nature of violence against Aboriginal women. The report provides recommendations for intervention and prevention developed by the Standing Committee on the Status of Women in collaboration with Aboriginal women.

Intersections of Violence Against Women and Militarism
The Center for Women’s Global Leadership held a meeting in June 2011 that brought together 30 feminist activists, academics and experts from around the world to identify and explore feminist perspectives of militarism; examine the intersections between militarism and violence against women; and develop global feminist strategies to challenge militarism.  This report outlines the discussion and the two broad strategies suggested to address violence against women and militarism: conducting a global campaign to define human security and linking the results to analyses of government budgets to better illustrate gaps between the ways in which civilians define security and state security.

Interventions to Reduce Distress in Adult victims of Sexual Violence and Rape: A Systematic Review
The research review examined studies that evaluated the effectiveness of psychotherapeutic interventions for reducing distress and trauma for survivors of sexual assault and rape.  Findings indicated that cognitive and behavioural interventions (e.g., cognitive processing therapy, prolonged exposure therapy, stress inoculation therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) were associated with a decrease in symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety.

Intimate Partner Sexual Violence: Sexual Assault in the Context of Domestic Violence
This 2009 publication from the Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs examines intimate partner sexual violence (IPSV), a comprehensive term that includes not only marital rape, but all other forms of sexual assault that take place within a current or former intimate relationship, whether the partners are married or not. This publication was developed in the context of the innovative statewide and national approach to IPSV that is emerging from the collaborative work of project partners. First published as an edition of the Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs' quarterly newsletter, Connections, this compilation of articles represents a wide spectrum of information and practical advice for assessment, intervention, and syst

Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Violence Victimization Assessment Instruments for Use in Healthcare Settings
This guide, developed by the Centers for Disease Control, is a compilation of current existing tools used to assess intimate partner violence and sexual violence victimization in clinical/healthcare settings.  The purpose of the document is to provide practitioners with the most current inventory of tools and to provide information on each tool to help inform decisions about which ones are most appropriate to use with a given population.

Intimate Partner Violence Reported by Lesbian-, Gay-, and Bisexual-Identified Individuals Living in Canada: An Exploration of Within-Group Variations
This study conducted a secondary statistical analysis of data from the 2004 General Social Survey of Canada in order to examine the prevalence and severity of intimate partner violence (IPV) within lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) communities.  The study looked at differences in rates and severity of IPV based on sexual orientation, gender, sociodemographic factors, and pervious experiences of discrimination.  Results indicated that individuals who identified as bisexual, who were younger, currently single, less educated, and who experienced physical/mental limitations were more likely to experience IPV.  Individuals who identified as bisexual also reported more incidents of violence and higher rates of injury compared to individuals who identified as gay or lesbian. You can access the full article through the library system or through a paid membership account.

IPSV Support Group: A Guide to Psychoeducational Support Groups for Survivors of Intimate Partner Sexual Violence
This 2009 guide provides information specifically relevant to psychoeducational groups that are to be run according to the guidelines provided by the Office of Crime Victims Advocacy for community sexual assault programs in the State of Washington. The goal of this supplemental Guide is to encourage support groups where survivors of intimate partner sexual violence can feel welcomed, included, and supported.

IPSV Train-the-Trainer Kit
This 2009 curriculum is designed to be used and adapted for a variety of audiences regarding intimate partner sexual violence (IPSV). Because IPSV involves both domestic violence and sexual assault, victims’ needs may not be fully addressed by services focusing on one or the other of these issues. While the training was designed for victim advocates, it should be of use to any professional who may encounter people affected by IPSV. Some information in the presentation can also be adapted for use with community audiences. The curriculum includes a powerpoint and guide covering forms of IPSV, risk factors, frequency, lethality, survivors, impacts, culturaly considerations, challenges for the advocate, and resources.

Issue 22: What's missing from the news on sexual violence? An analysis of coverage, 2011-2013
This 2014 publication explores how sexual violence is portrayed in the news and considers the implications of these portrayals for prevention advocates and journalists interested in discussing not just the details of sexual violence, but also how to end it. The findings lay the foundation for ongoing work to define more effective messages about sexual violence that can support prevention policies.

Key Best Practices for Effective Sexual Violence Public Education Campaigns: A Summary
Lori Haskell (2011)
This paper summarizes how to have effective public education campaigns aimed at sexual violence awareness and prevention. The paper outlines the importance of framing the issue; what key elements to include in the campaign; how to apply social norms theory, in terms of gender equality being the social norm, to change behaviour; the necessity of engaging bystanders to promote and encourage change; what messages regarding sexual violence should be delivered in the campaign; and who is the best person to deliver these messages in order to receive a positive response. The paper provides tips and examples of best practices.

Key Findings: Sexual Violence Victimization and Associations with Health in a Community Sample of African American Women
This 2016 research translation summarizes key findings from a recent study to help support sexual violence prevention and response strategies with Black and African American communities.

Learning From Women with Lived Experience
Learning Network Brief 22
This Learning Brief discusses the different contexts that impact a survivor’s experience of sexual violation and how listening to women with lived experience can help us learn how each woman who experiences sexual violence can be impacted differently including what supports or comforts helped them to survive.

Limits of a Criminal Justice Response: Trends in Police and Court Processing of Sexual Assault
National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2010 Summary Report
Michele C. Black, Kathleen C. Basile, Matthew J. Breiding, Sharon G. Smith, Mikel L. Walters, Melissa T. Merrick, Jieru Chen & Mark R. Stevens (2011).

Limits of a Criminal Justice Response: Trends in Police and Court Processing of Sexual Assault
Holly Johnson (2011)
A chapter in the book "Sexual Assault in Canada: Law, Legal Practice and Women's Activism", Holly Johnson provides a perspective the criminal law response to sexual assault. She examines the filtering effect of the criminal justice process, with the end result that only .3 percent of perpetrators are convicted whereas fully 99.7 percent are never held accountable for their crimes. Holly reviews current trends in the legal processing of sexual assault, re-visiting the issue of the police response to sexual assault reports explored previously and raising questions about a seeming downturn in women’s reporting rates—possibly in response to the continuing barriers erected by police. In light of the overwhelming trend by police to charge sexual assault at the lowest level of seriousness, the declining rate of conviction, and the increased use of conditional sentences (house arrest) for sex offenders, her chapter forces us to ask what possible role the criminal law can play when it condemns only a tiny fraction o f this pervasive crime.

Making Allies, Making Friends: A Curriculum for Making the Peace in Middle School
This curriculum was designed to address diversity and violence with students in grades six to nine.  The curriculum includes over 30 class sessions that contain a warm-up exercise, theme information, value clarification, and an experience or activity.  Students and facilitators address diversity and alliance-building; dealing with violence including bullying and sexual abuse; and taking action.

Making the Peace: An Approach to Preventing Relationship Violence Among Youth
This curriculum is designed for youth, educators, parents, women/youth advocacy agencies, criminal justice personnel and community members to help prevent violence against women among youth ages 14-19.  The curriculum includes a manual, teachers’ guide, 15-session curriculum, and handouts.  The overall goal of the curriculum is to reduce and prevent violence against women (specifically domestic and dating violence) within urban schools.  Adults and young people are trained to design and implement dating violence prevention campaigns that would reach all students.

Mobilizing Religious Communities to Respond to Gender-Based Violence and HIV: A Training Manual
Futures Group and Religions for Peace developed a training manual to raise awareness and address the issue of gender-based violence and HIV amongst religious leaders.  The training takes place over three days.  Topics include: identifying different types, causes, and consequences of gender-based violence; understanding the link between gender-based violence and HIV; identifying approaches for addressing gender-based violence through religious organizations, institutions, and/or communities; and starting a dialogue on how religious leaders and women leaders of faith can mainstream gender-based violence into faith-based interventions.

National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2010 Summary Report
Michele C. Black, Kathleen C. Basile, Matthew J. Breiding, Sharon G. Smith, Mikel L. Walters, Melissa T. Merrick, Jieru Chen & Mark R. Stevens (2011).
This report summarizes the results from a 2010 national survey that collected information on experiences of sexual violence, stalking and intimate partner violence among women and men across the U.S. The report outlines the background and methodology of the survey and summarizes the data collected regarding each type of violence (e.g., prevalence; perpetrator characteristics; victim characteristics). The report provides national lifetime and 12-month prevalence rates and breaks down lifetime prevalence rates by state. Implications for prevention are discussed.

National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence 2010-2014
This report describes the national strategy to address domestic, sexual and gender-based violence in Ireland starting in early 2010 to the end of 2014.  Part one of the report presents the problem of gender-based violence by introducing the national strategy; describing domestic and sexual violence; and outlining current interventions across the country.  Part two of the report outlines the challenges to progress and actions to tackle the problem more effectively through primary and secondary interventions and policy and service planning.  The final chapter of the report describes the strategy implementation and the plan for a comprehensive review.   

No Safe Place: Sexual Assault in the Lives of Homeless Women
Lisa A. Goodman, Katya Fels & Catherine Glenn (2006)
This paper reviews research on homeless women and sexual violence. The paper discusses the prevalence and impact of sexual violence among women who are homeless; causality and risk factors associated with sexual violence and homelessness; barriers to receiving support; and recommendations for intervention and prevention.

Not Alone – The First Report of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault
In 2014, the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault had a national conversation with thousands of people regarding sexual assault and women on campus.  This report outlines the first set of action steps and recommendations developed in response to this national discussion.  The first steps identified include: identifying the problem using campus climate surveys; preventing sexual assault and engaging men; effectively responding when a student is sexually assaulted; and increasing transparency and improving enforcement.

Nunavik Inuit Health Survey 2004
This paper highlights the key results from the Nunavik Inuit Health Survey conducted in 2004 by the Institut national de santé publique due Québec (INSPQ).  The paper presents socio-demographic data; environmental health impacts; physical health status; nutrition and eating habits; lifestyles; psychosocial health including sexual violence; and women’s health of the Inuit of Nunavik in 2004.

Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres (OCRCC)
The OCRCC serves as a communication network for Rape Crisis/Sexual Assault Centres across Ontario in order to promote education, knowledge mobilization, and communication between otherwise isolated rape crisis centres. The OCRCC promotes social change regarding sexual violence by providing education, determining policy, and making recommendations at a provincial level on issues related to rape crisis centres and sexual violence prevention in general. The OCRCC conducts research on issues related to sexual violence and participates in public education campaigns. The OCRCC website provides the public with news on what is happening in the province around sexual violence prevention; resources; definitions; myths and facts about sexual violence; links to support services, research, legal and government information; a list of rape crisis/sexual assault centres that are members of the OCRCC; how to contact the OCRCC; how to donate to the coalition; and how to hide the visit to their website for safety and privacy reasons.

Ontario Network of Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Treatment Centres
The Ontario Network of Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Treatment Centres was established in 1993 with the purpose of providing leadership and support to 35 hospital-based sexual assault and domestic violence treatment centres across the province. The Network also collaborates on research, public education, and training programs. The Network’s website provides the public with information on sexual and domestic violence; services provided; centres who are members of the network; research and resources; upcoming events in the province; and links to other websites with helpful information.

Our Search for Safe Spaces: A Qualitative Study of the Role of Sexual Violence in the Lives of Aboriginal Women Living with HIV/AIDS
This research study was conducted by the Canadian Aboriginal Aids Network to give a voice to Aboriginal women living with HIV/AIDS in the academic community and to better understand the intersection of gender, culture, HIV, and sexual violence.  The lived experiences of Aboriginal women living with HIV/AIDS examines the relation of sexual violence, current social realities and past life experiences with HIV infection and how these experiences influence their health management.

Overcoming Barriers and Enhancing Supportive Responses: The Research on Sexual Violence Against Women. A Resource Document.
Linda Baker, Marcie Campbell & Anna-Lee Straatman (2012)
This review of the literature on sexual violence flows from the Ontario government’s Sexual Violence Action Plan: Changing Attitudes, Changing Lives. The goal was to create a resource document to support the development of introductory training on sexual violence, including supportive responses to victims/survivors who disclose experiences of sexual violence. Topics covered include: understanding sexual violence; rape myths; consequences experienced by survivors; barriers to disclosure; safe and supportive responses to disclosures.

Perpetrator interventions in Australia: Part one – Literature review.
This 2015 paper from Australia’s National Research Organization for Women’s Safety identifies the current state of knowledge on Australian perpetrator interventions for sexual assault and family/domestic violence. Within the discussion of each type of violence, family/domestic violence and sexual assault, part one of this paper provides an overview of specific perpetrator interventions before moving on to consider the different theoretical approaches informing perpetrator intervention programs. Section two of this paper considers the multiplicity of perpetrator interventions by agencies such as police, justice, and corrections; and points of referral to other systems, services and programs such as mental health, drug and alcohol, housing and employment services, in recognition that these services can play a role in assisting men to stop perpetrating violence.

Perpetrator interventions in Australia: Part two – Perpetrator pathways and mapping
This 2015 paper from Australia’s National Research Organization for Women’s Safety provides detailed information on perpetrator pathways and programs in each state and territory in Australia. The purpose the paper is to illustrate the multiplicity of perpetrator interventions beyond men’s behaviour change programs, and specifically, legal interventions by agencies such as police, justice, and corrections. Points of referrals to other systems, services and programs such as mental health, drug and alcohol, housing and employment services are also noted, in recognition that these services can play a role in assisting men to stop perpetrating violence.

Policy on Preventing Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment
In 2011, the Ontario Human Rights Commission released a new policy regarding sexual and gender-based harassment mainly in areas of employment, housing and education.  The overall objective of the policy was to help make people aware of their rights, roles and responsibilities around sexual and gender-based harassment.  The policy defines sexual harassment in general and sexual harassment in employment, housing and education; provides practices to address sexual harassment; discusses evidentiary issues; outlines how employers, housing providers, and educators can respond to and prevent sexual harassment; and examines human rights protection against sexual harassment such as the Ontario Human Rights Code and other international protections.

Prevalence and Characteristics of Sexual Violence, Stalking, and Intimate Partner Violence Victimization – National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, United States, 2011
This report examines the overall prevalence of sexual violence, stalking and intimate partner violence victimization in the United States in 2011 using data from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey.  Specifically, the report looks at racial/ethnic variation in prevalence; types of perpetrators by type of violence; age at first victimization; and the range of negative impacts on victims of intimate partner violence.

Preventing Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Against Women – Taking Action and Generating Evidence
This resource document provides information for policy-makers and planners to help develop programs to prevent intimate partner and sexual violence against women.  The report describes the nature, prevalence, and consequences of these forms of gender-based violence; identifies risk and protective factors and the importance of including these factors in prevention strategies; summarizes current evidence-based primary prevention strategies; and provides a six-step framework for taking action, generating evidence, and sharing results.  The report also provides an outline of future research priorities and key conclusions.

Preventing Multiple Forms of Violence: A Strategic Vision for Connecting the Dots
This 2016 publication from the CDC National Center for Injury Prevention and Control reviews the important connections between child abuse and neglect, youth violence, intimate partner violence, sexual violence, elder abuse, and suicidal behaviour. This report outlines a 5 year vision to prevent violence through understanding and addressing the interconnections among these aforementioned forms.

Project 97
Rogers Media, through its publishing and broadcasting outlets (e.g., Chatelaine, Maclean’s, Canadian Business, Flare, Today’s Parent, Châtelaine, L’actualité and City News) will explore issues of sexual assault, abuse and harassment over the next year.  Conversations, articles, and interviews are made available through a hub website called Project 97 ( or through each publishing and broadcasting outlets’ website.

Reporting on Sexual Assault: A Toolkit for Canadian Media
This toolkit was developed by femifesto, a Toronto-based, grassroots feminist collective that works to end rape culture. The purpose of the toolkit is to help mainstream media better report on sexual assault that does not shame or blame survivors. Topics covered include definitions of rape culture, sexual assault in Canada, and an intersectional approach to reporting; a checklist when reporting on sexual assault; nine essential tips on interviewing survivors; whose stories and voices we are missing in mainstream media (e.g., Indigenous women); key examples of coverage of sexual assault from Canadian media; statistics on sexual assault; and resources.

Responding to intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women: WHO clinical and policy guidelines
World Health Organization (2013)
This document provides evidence-based guidelines for health-care providers on the appropriate responses, including clinical interventions and emotional support, to women experiencing intimate partner violence and sexual violence.

Sexual Assault: A Help Book for Teens in the Northwest Territories
The purpose of this guide book is to provide teens with information on how to get help if they are a victim/survivor of sexual violence; how to help a friend who has experienced sexual violence; how to help a friend who is sexually violent; and how to keep safe.  The guide book discusses relationships; sexual assault; getting help; the law and sexual assault; and finding support after court.  The guide also provides a directory of support services.

Sexual Assault Advocacy and Crisis Line Training Guide
In 2011, the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault released this survivor-centred training guide to help advocates respond to and prevent sexual assault.  Topics include: an overview of sexual assault; understanding prevention in a culture of sexual violence; perpetrators of sexual violence; making the connection with social justice, sexual violence, and anti-oppression; understanding the effects of sexual assault; advocacy services for child sexual abuse and teen survivors; basic advocacy skills and strategies; advanced topics in advocacy – understanding setting and context; from the hospital to the police report – advocacy services through the medical and evidence collection procedures; legal procedures; and a selection of statutes within Colorado.

Sexual Assault and Disabled Women Ten Years after Jane Doe
Fran Odette (2012)
A chapter in the book, “Sexual Assault in Canada: Law, Legal Practice and Women’s Activism,” Fran Odette writes about the lived experience of disabled women who are sexually assaulted. Topics addressed in the chapter include: the impacts of linguistic constructs in shaping practice around disability; the mythology that denies disabled women access to their own identity and sexuality and contributes to the sexual assault of disabled women; and the impediments to equality for disabled women who have been sexually assaulted. She examines how gaps and limitations in research have hindered policy development, legal responses, and feminist community-based services in responding to the lived experience of disabled women.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month: How to Create a Campaign
This 2016 publication from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center explains how to develop a community-wide campaign for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Sexual Assault in Canada 2004 and 2007
Shannon Brennan & Andrea Taylor-Butts (2008)
This report examines sexual assault in Canada using data collected from the 1999 and 2004 General Social Surveys (GSS) on victimization and police-reported data from the Uniform Crime Reporting Survey (UCR) and the incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting Survey (UCR2). The report summarizes prevalence rates; rates of police reporting; characteristics of victims and perpetrators; the impact of sexual violence; and safety strategies used by victims.

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Development & Operation Guide
Linda E. Ledray
The purpose of this manual is to help communities develop and implement a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program. The SANE program provides a comprehensive forensic evaluation and intervention of sexual assault victims by trained nurses in order to assist the justice system in prosecuting cases and support victims with their healing process. This manual describes the SANE program and outlines how to implement, fund, staff and maintain a program in one’s own community.

Sexual assault of older women by strangers
This study examined victim, offender, and offence characteristics of sexual assaults against older women by strangers in comparison to assaults of younger women.  Cases were obtained from the Serious Crime Analysis Section of the United Kingdom National Policing Improvement Agency.  Findings indicated differences with ethnicity of the offender; number of previous convictions of the offender; and specific characteristics associated with the assault.  You can access the full article through the library system or through a paid membership account.

Sexual Assault Prevention: A Guide for Students, Educators and School Administrators (2015)
This 2015 guide from reviews what can be done to prevent sexual assault on campus and what specific roles students, educators, administrators, and parents can play in sexual assault prevention.

Sexual Assault Victim Service Worker Handbook
The Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General of British Columbia developed this handbook for service workers that support adult victims of adult or childhood sexual assault who are seeking services.  Topics discussed in the handbook include the dynamics and impact of sexual assault; the needs of diverse communities in seeking support; societal responses to sexual assault; an introduction and overview of the work of victim services; the survivor’s need for safety and support; the process of the medical investigation including obtaining forensic evidence and the role of the service worker; the role of the service worker in the criminal justice process; and a list of information and support resources.

Sexual Health Toolkit (Part 2): Sexuality and Relationships
The First Nations Centre/National Aboriginal Health Organization developed a toolkit on sexuality and relationships aimed at Aboriginal youth.  Topics include healthy relationships; sexual abuse and drug facilitated sexual assault; body image and sexual health; sexuality; and traditional views on sexual health.

Sexual Offences in Canada
Rebecca Kong, Holly Johnson, Sara Beattie & Andrea Cardillo (2003)
This report summarizes statistics from five Canadian surveys on the prevalence and nature of sexual violence offences in Canada. Information on child pornography, child prostitution and sex trafficking is also discussed.

Sexual Violence and Social Media – Building a Framework for Prevention
The report explores the relationship between sexual violence and social media among youth (ages 12 to 24) in Ontario.  Over 180 Ontario-based community organizations, educators, violence prevention advocates, and frontline workers were surveyed, with nine follow-up interviews with Ottawa stakeholders, regarding awareness of social media as a tool to perpetrate sexual violence; prevention strategies and initiatives; and key directions.  The research findings were integrated into 12 recommendations for approaching prevention of sexual violence related to social media.

Sexual Violence in Later Life: Fact Sheet
This 2010 document offers information concerning sexual abuse in later life, including barriers to response and prevention, victims and perpetrators.

Sexual Violence in Later Life: Research Brief
This 2014 research brief reviews research on risk and protective factors related to sexual violence in later life.

Sexual Violence Prevention: Are we increasing safety or reinforcing rape culture?
Learning Network Brief 21
As the title suggests, this Brief questions whether some of our sexual violence prevention increases safety or reinforces rape culture. The first section describes “rape culture”, its harmful consequences, and its differential impact on various groups of women. The second section discusses how well-intended messages telling women what they can do to prevent being sexually assaulted inadvertently reinforces rape culture.  The final section raises the question of how to promote safety for girls and women while working towards transforming our culture to ensure women have the right to sexual integrity, equality and justice.

Shaping a Culture of Respect in our Schools – Promoting Safe and Healthy Relationships
In 2008, the Safe Schools Action Team submitted the report, “Shaping a Culture of Respect in our Schools – Promoting Safe and Healthy Relationships” which focuses on providing recommendations to prevent and address gender-based violence, homophobia, sexual harassment, and inappropriate sexual behaviour in schools and remove barriers to reporting this violence.  Key findings and recommendations are provided under the following topics: curriculum; effective partnerships with community agencies and organizations; prevention, awareness raising, and intervention; response and supports; reporting; local police/school board protocols; student leadership; parent/family engagement; training; and evaluation and accountability.

SHE Framework: Safety and Health Enhancement for Women Experiencing Abuse – A Toolkit for Health Care Providers and Planners
BC Women’s Hosptial & Health Centre developed the Safety and Health Enhancement (SHE) Framework for women experiencing abuse.  The SHE Framework provides guidance for health care providers, planners, policy makers, researchers, and community partners in assessing and responding to violence against women.  The SHE Framework is comprised of three parts: two models, an evidence paper, and a toolkit.  The two models discussed in the framework are the Compounding Harms Model which describes the potential harms experienced by women within the context of health and health care, beginning with the violence which is intensified by interactions with the health care system; and the Safety and Health Enhancement Model which illustrates safety measures that reduce the harms and health impacts of violence on women.  The SHE evidence paper combines evidence-based research and survivors’ accounts of violence and their experiences within the health care system and provides the foundation for a safety and risk assessment.  Finally, the SHE toolkit is a practical tool designed to guide a team of practitioners, planners, and community partners through a process of identifying compounding harms and safety and health enhancement measures in a particular area of health care.

Stepping Up - developing promising practices in art-based programming to address issues of violence and community safety for trans, lesbian and bisexual newcomer, immigrant and refugee women tool kit (Part 1 & 2)
In 2010, the Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services developed a promising practices toolkit to guide organizations and service providers in implementing expressive arts groups which contribute to violence prevention/safety promotion programming with trans and LGBQ newcomer women.  The promising practices within this toolkit stem from the Stepping Up project that was comprised of two pilot expressive arts groups: 1) a group for trans-identified newcomer women of any sexual identity; and 2) a group for cis-gender-identified newcomer women who also identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, or questioning.  The toolkit is based on certain themes and issues that were identified within the course of the Stepping Up project such as addressing issues of violence and community safety with Trans and LGBQ newcomer women; identifying and creating safe spaces; capacity building; and future opportunities.

STOP SV: A Technical Package to Prevent Sexual Violence
This 2016 technical package developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention represents a select group of strategies based on the best available evidence to help communities and states sharpen their focus on prevention activities with the greatest potential to reduce sexual violence (SV) and its consequences. These strategies focus on promoting social norms that protect against violence; teaching skills to prevent SV; providing opportunities, both economic and social, to empower and support girls and women; creating protective environments; and supporting victims/survivors to lessen harms. The strategies represented in this package include those with a focus on preventing SV from happening in the first place as well as approaches to lessen the immediate and long-term harms of SV. Though the evidence for SV is still developing and more research is needed, the problem of SV is too large and costly and has too many urgent consequences to wait for perfect answers. There is a compelling need for prevention now and to learn from the efforts that are undertaken. Commitment, cooperation, and leadership from numerous sectors, including public health, education, justice, health care, social services, business/labor, and government can bring about the successful implementation of this package.

Stopping Violence Against Women Before It Happens: A Practical Toolkit for Communities
The National Rural Women’s Network in Australia developed a toolkit to help rural communities implement primary prevention strategies within the focus of the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children.  There are three parts to the toolkit: 1) an overview of the definitions, prevalence and causes of violence against women and the specific issues relating to rural communities; 2) a review of some common primary prevention approaches to violence against women including case studies of activities that can be replicated or adapted; and 3) a five simple step-by-step guide to getting started and taking action to prevent violence against women in your community.

Strengthening the medico-legal response to sexual violence
This 2015 toolkit published by the World Health Organization is practitioner focused and addresses key knowledge gaps within and between sectors, to help support service provision and coordination in low-resource settings in responses to sexual violence.

Student Safety in Nova Scotia: A Review of Student Union Policies and Practices to Prevent Sexual Violence
commissioned a report that provides an overview of sexual assault on Nova Scotia campuses, discusses the role that student leadership can play in building a culture of prevention and intervention around sexual assault, and provides recommendations aimed at placing student leaders as change agents on campus.  Student union leaders and university staff across six campuses were interviewed as well as off-campus health experts. 

Surmonter les obstacles et améliorer le soutien: Recherche sur la violence à caractère sexuel faite aux femmes. Un document de référence.
Linda Baker, Marcie Campbell & Anna-Lee Straatman (2012)
This review of the literature on sexual violence flows from the Ontario government’s Sexual Violence Action Plan: Changing Attitudes, Changing Lives. The goal was to create a resource document to support the development of introductory training on sexual violence, including supportive responses to victims/survivors who disclose experiences of sexual violence. Topics covered include: understanding sexual violence; rape myths; consequences experienced by survivors; barriers to disclosure; safe and supportive responses to disclosures.

Survivor Voices – Gaining Insight from Women of Experience
This report summarizes research conducted by the Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women (OCTEVAW) that looked to understand the ways in which survivors of violence and abuse want to engage in their communities.  In this pilot study, women survivors of violence and abuse shared their voices within facilitated focus groups.  Prominent themes identified were empowerment, education and awareness, validation, family, resilience, healing, safety and support.  Recommendations aimed at OCTEVAW and other agencies and organizations that serve women survivors were provided.

The Empowerment Project: A Train-the-Trainer Tool-Kit for Delivering Self-Protection and Assertiveness Workshops to Women and Girls
The Empowerment Project was developed by the Fredericton Sexual Assault Crisis Centre with the purpose of empowering and helping women feel in control of their lives; including women in the fight against sexual violence; help women feel safer; and educate women and girls about sexual violence and prevention.  The project challenges rape myths; educates women about sex roles and their dangerous effects; encourages support among women and women’s organizations; discusses risk factors; promotes women’s self-worth and self-esteem; supports a woman’s right to be assertive; encourages women to trust their instincts; teaches women self-defense techniques as a last resort; and tells women that sexual violence is not their fault.  Chapters in the facilitators manual include sexual assault and prevention, planning a workshop, facilitating, disclosure and basic counselling, and diversity and inclusion.  The manual comes with several handouts for clients.

The Impact of Sexual Violence
This 2016 fact sheet published by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center provides statistics about the wide-ranging impact of sexual violence on survivors, loved ones, communities, and society in general.

The Intersection of Domestic and Sexual Violence: A Review of the Literature
This 2012 report published by the Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services reviews the intersection between domestic and sexual violence as well as the area of uniqueness and needed specialization of sexual violence. Part I discusses domestic and sexual violence literature published since 2006 and Part II reviews seven key themes related to the intersection of domestic and sexual violence. Part III includes four recommendations to support the Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services (AASAS) vision of an Alberta free from sexual assault and sexual abuse.

The Legal Treatment of Marital Rape and Women’s Equality: An Analysis of the Canadian Experience
Jennifer Koshan (2010)
This is a review paper that addresses how marital rape is treated in the legal system in Canada starting from when it was first criminalized in 1983 to present day. The review discusses Canadian reforms and strategies that may assist other countries in responding to marital rape and identifies strategies from these same countries that may assist Canada in reforming and interpreting current marital rape laws. Topics include a summary of how marital rape and women’s equality is addressed in the Canadian legal system; prevalence rates of sexual violence within marital relationships and indicators of women’s inequality; the impact of sexual violence; the criminalization of marital rape; the legal framework that addresses marital rape in Canada; other laws and policies in Canada that impact how marital rape is treated in the legal system; case examples of the judicial treatment of marital rape; colonial and traditional law perspectives on marital rape; and lessons learned.

The Neurobiology of Sexual Assault
Learning Network Brief 14.
This Learning Brief describes the neurobiological response to sexual assault and the implications for frontline responders supporting victims/survivors. Click to view PlainText Version.

The Neurobiology of Sexual Assault
Dr. Rebecca Campbell
is a Professor of Psychology and Program Evaluation at Michigan State University.  Her current work focuses on sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) programs in the criminal justice system.  Dr. Campbell presented at the National Institute of Justice’s translational criminology seminar series in 2012.  In her webinar, Dr. Campbell explains the underlying neurobiology of traumatic events, with a focus on sexual assault; how this trauma manifests emotionally and physically for victims; and how these processes can impact sexual assault investigations and prosecutions.  Dr. Campbell discusses the implications for first responders (i.e., law enforcement, nurses, victim advocates, and prosecutors).

The prevalence of sexual assault against people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual in the United States: A systematic review
This article reviewed 75 studies that examined the prevalence of sexual assault victimization among gay or bisexual men and lesbian or bisexual women in the United States.  All the studies reviewed were published between 1989 and 2009.  Results indicated that the highest estimates reported were for lifetime sexual assault victimization among lesbian and bisexual women (85%); childhood sexual assault among lesbian and bisexual women (76%); and childhood sexual assault among gay and bisexual men (59%).  Lesbian and bisexual women were more likely to report childhood sexual assault, adult sexual assault, lifetime sexual assault, and intimate partner sexual assault compared to gay and bisexual men; whereas gay and bisexual men were more likely to report hate crime-related sexual assault compared to lesbian and bisexual women.  The abstract for this article is available online. 

The Rape Culture
This paper, written by Dianne F. Herman, discusses why our culture can be characterized as a ‘rape culture.’  Topics include the legal definitions of rape; the prevalence of rape; victims of rape; reasons men rape; society’s response to rape; and how our society is considered a ‘rape culture’.  To access the full article, you can access the journal through the library or through paid access.

The Street Health Report 2007
This report presents the results of a survey conducted by Street Health in 2006 and 2007.  A total of 368 homeless adults attending meal programs and shelters in downtown Toronto were asked about their health and access to healthcare.  The report highlights the nature of homelessness in Toronto; an exploration of the daily living conditions of homeless people; findings on the physical and mental health status of homeless people; how homeless people use healthcare services; and the barriers homeless people experience when using services.

The Treatment of Consent in Canadian Sexual Assault Law
This report looks at consent, sexual assault in intimate relationships and gender inequality; the criminal law of sexual assault in Canada including ‘affirmative consent’, the ‘reasonable steps requirement’, the ‘honest but mistaken’ belief in consent defence, and past sexual history evidence and the test for admissibility in sexual assault cases; and trends in the Canadian case law around sexual assaults in intimate relationships.  The report was authored by Prof. Melanie Randall of the Equality Effect, an international network of human rights advocates working collaboratively to improve the lives of women and girls by using existing human rights law to achieve concrete change.

Transforming UBC and Developing a Culture of Equality and Accountability: Confronting Rape Culture and Colonialist Violence
This report was prepared by the University of British Columbia (UBC) President’s Task Force on Gender-based Violence and Aboriginal Stereotypes.  The task force was created in November 2013 after trivializing and discriminatory chants related to gender-based violence and Aboriginal peoples took place during frosh week events in September 2013.  This report provides recommendations developed by the task force that seek to increase awareness and competencies; share responsibility; achieve multi-level accountability; provide collaborative education; and invest in transformation within the university in order to address intersectional violence and promote the safety of all members of the community.

Transgender Sexual Violence Survivors: A Self Help Guide to Healing and Understanding (2015)
This 2015 guide includes information about the prevalence of sexual violence against transgender/gender non-conforming individuals; lists common long- and short-term responses to trauma; addresses the question of whether there is a relationship between sexual assault and gender identity issues; discusses issues associated with WPATH Standards of Care and Informed Consent models as they relate to sexual assault survivors and how their gender identity issues are assessed; describes the typical set of services available to sexual violence survivors in their own communities, including how transgender survivors can advocate for their inclusion and/or respectful treatment within such services; provides recommended reading and resource lists of self-help books, websites, and listservs, with annotations describing how well they address transgender survivors and SOFFAs and their issues; and gives quotations from other transgender sexual violence survivors.

Trauma-Informed Practice Guide
This guide was developed to enhance awareness among mental health and substance use practitioners and organizations; identify current efforts by mental health and substance use services to provide trauma-informed and trauma-specific interventions; increase awareness of evidence-based practices; and increase capacity amongst mental health and substance use practitioners and organizations to better help clients impacted by violence and trauma.  Topics include: understanding trauma; trauma-informed approaches; and implementing trauma-informed approaches.  The guide contains an information sheet on self-care for practitioners; a trauma-informed practice organizational checklist; an information sheet on trauma-informed engagement skills, how to ask about trauma and respond to disclosures, strategies for sharing information about trauma, and grounding skills and self-care strategies; and a list of trauma-informed practice related resources.  The guide was developed in collaboration and consultation between the BC Ministry of Health, the BC Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health, the BC Ministry of Children and Family Development, BC Health Authorities, representatives from anti-violence organizations and mental health and substance use service providers across the province.

Understanding and Addressing Violence Against Women
This document, developed by the World Health Organization and the Pan American Health Organization, discusses the magnitude and scope of violence against women across the world; definitions and forms of violence against women; how violence affects women’s health; factors that increase a woman’s risk of experiencing violence; and what is known about how to address violence against women.

Understanding Violence Against Women and Children: The Need for a Gendered Analysis
This PowerPoint presentation was developed by Walter DeKeseredy and was presented at the Critical Connections symposium of the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies in March, 2010.  The presentation provides statistics on violence against women and girls in Canada and the need to view this social problem through a gendered lens in order to create and implement policies that target the broader social and social-psychological forces that perpetuate and legitimate violence against women and girls.

Use the Right Words: Media Reporting on Sexual Violence in Canada (2015)
This 2015 guide includes information on sexual violence, resources for journalists (e.g. Checklist when Reporting on Sexual Assault, and Tipsheet: 10 Essential Tips on Interviewing Survivors of Sexual Assault), infographics and statistics on sexual violence—all informed by survivors, journalists, anti gender-based violence advocates, lawyers and community members from across Canada. This guide is a valuable tool and resource for journalists, media makers, community organizers, educators, and  others who want to think, talk, and write about how we can shift from rape culture to consent culture in Canada. This guide is informed by an intersectional approach to sexual violence, which recognizes that survivors are impacted differently based on varied and interlocking experiences of oppression and their social location. How people experience, heal from, and address sexual violence is shaped by the multitude of social locations e.g. class, sexuality, citizenship status and gender expression.

Violence Against Women: an EU-wide Survey
The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) conducted the first survey on the extent, nature and consequences of violence against women in all 28 Member States of the European Union (EU).  A total of 42,000 women were surveyed about their experiences of physical, sexual and psychological violence including incidents of woman abuse, stalking, sexual harassment, violence in childhood, and technology-related violence.  The survey results indicate that the issue of violence against women needs to be addressed and people must advocate for change.

Violence and Trauma in the Lives of Women with Serious Mental Illness – Current Practices in Service Provision in British Columbia
This research publication from the British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health documents the practice in five different mental health care setting with respect to the provision of services to women with chronic and persistent mental health problems who are survivors of violence.  The research incorporated focus groups and interviews as well as survey tools to gather information about programming across all health regions in the province.  Results indicated that current practice is still primarily guided by a bio-medical paradigm and do not attend to the social determinants of mental health such as a woman’s past experience of violence and her increased vulnerability to abuse once she becomes ill.  This paper summarizes the research project, identifies innovative practice and programming, and provides recommendations.

Was I Drugged and Sexually Assaulted?
This information sheet was developed by the Ontario Network of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Centres to help inform suspected victims/survivors of drug facilitated sexual assault (DFSA) on how to recognize the signs of DFSA; drugs used in DFSAs; where to get help; and services available.

What is Sexual Violence?
This 2016 fact sheet published by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center defines sexual violence by providing examples and statistics.

What Their Stories Tell Us: Research Findings From the Sisters in Spirit Initiative
Native Women’s Association of Canada (2010)
In 2005, the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) received funding from the Status of Women Canada to create the Sisters in Spirit Initiative. The purpose of the Sisters in Spirit Initiative was to identify the number of Aboriginal women and girls who had gone missing or who had been killed; understand the root causes, circumstances and trends around this violence; and address why this violence occurred without any support or intervention from the Canadian justice system. As of March 31, 2010, the Sisters in Spirit Initiative identified 582 cases of missing or murdered Aboriginal women and girls. The research findings attributed the impact of colonization, state policies, and intergenerational trauma to the violence experienced by Aboriginal women and girls and highlighted the need for policy, programs and services to address these issues in order to prevent future violence.

Why Prevention? Why Now?
This article examines the growing movement toward a more comprehensive understanding and response to sexual violence including the importance of prevention.  Utilizing the public health approach to sexual violence prevention, the article blends two frameworks together – 1) prevention strategies that target behaviours before they occur and interventions implemented after sexual violence is perpetrated (primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention) and 2) an intervention approach targeting the four levels of the social ecological model (individuals, relationships, communities, and society).  Overall the article argues that we must invest in a prevention approach in order to prevent sexual violence before more people are victimized.

Women and the Criminal Justice System
Tina Hotton Mahony (2011)
This report summarizes statistics from the 2009 General Social Survey (GSS) on Victimization and the 2009 Uniform Crime Reporting Incident-Based Survey on the prevalence and characteristics of female victimization and female criminality in Canada.