Guiding Systemic Responses to Survivors of Gender-Based Violence Through Risk Assessment: A Survivor-Centric Approach

With funding from Women and Gender Equality Canada and in partnership with agencies across Canada, researchers and survivors of violence, we are developing promising practices, frameworks and resources for gender-based violence risk identification and assessment.  

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The project builds a blueprint for risk assessment and safety frameworks that is founded on a trauma-informed approach and the consideration of intersecting identity factors for Indigenous women, Black women, racialized women, immigrant and refugee women, women with precarious immigration status, women with disabilities, LGTBQ2S+ and gender-diverse survivors who are more at risk of GBV.

Project Consultations

Through the participation options outlined below, we will be collecting vital feedback from the community to identify gaps in how risk assessment is measured, and to ensure that future tools better take into account the diverse needs of survivors from equity-seeking groups.

How to participate


If you are a GBV service provider


The Clinic created an online survey to collect data on current practices in GBV risk assessment and safety frameworks from GBV service providers across Canada. We invite you to complete this survey with a series of questions about service provision and assessment of risk in cases of gender-based violence. Please help us to inform the project’s main deliverables by sharing your knowledge and expertise. Your participation is voluntary, confidential and anonymous.


Survey links:


The project seeks guidance and expertise from GBV service providers who regularly conduct risk assessments as part of their practice. The consultations Forums focus on identifying best practices while fostering discussions and reflections on the gaps within the current practices and inefficiencies in risk assessment and safety frameworks. The Clinic will host a series of consultations with service providers. Stay tuned for updates on our website and social media channels.

Project partner

The engagement of project partners strengthens the project outcomes through their feedback, reflections and expertise. The project team has been collaborating with partners at different stages of the project. If your agency is interested in being a project partner, contact the project coordinator for more information.

If you identify as a survivor or someone with lived experience of GBV

Community Engagement Working Group (CEWG)

Many survivors of GBV express an interest in sharing their experiences to help other women who are experiencing violence. The Clinic believes that survivors’ voices are vital when working to improve services and available resources. The CEWG is a space to create tools and resources that can assist survivors. If you are interested in participating, contact the project coordinator for more information.

Individual interviews

The Clinic will be conducting individual interviews with survivors of violence to share their experiences and perspectives of service delivery. Participants’ personal information will be kept anonymous, and data will help create the project tools and resources. If you are interested in participating, contact the project coordinator for more information.

Focus groups

A third option to participate and help the Clinic to create the project tools and resources is the focus groups. The Clinic will invite survivors to participate in focus groups and share their lived experiences of GBV. If you are interested in participating, contact the project coordinator for more information.

Main Project Goals

  • Identify current practices in risk assessment, risk mitigation and safety planning for survivors of gender-based violence;
  • Identify gaps in risk assessment, risk mitigation and safety planning for survivors of gender-based violence;
  • Create and test promising practices in risk assessment, risk mitigation and safety planning for survivors of violence available for free in English and French;
  • Generate evidence that demonstrates the efficiency and effectiveness of promising practices;
  • Develop Blueprints and make them available for other organizations to replicate and adapt to their local context;
  • Develop and deliver in-person and online training of the project’s main findings and deliverables with multimedia training modules in both English and French.

Tools and Resource Goals

Tools and resources aim to do the following:

  • Account for physical, emotional, mental, social/cultural, financial, legal and spiritual abuse while taking into consideration the context of coercive control and power dynamics in which specific incidents or manifestations of violence may occur;
  • Account for the multiple sources of oppression and systemic barriers women experience through an intersectional analysis;
  • Assess and manage risk from the perspective of at-risk women/survivors’ lived experiences;
  • Assess outcomes from the perspective of at-risk women/survivors’ lived experiences.

Research and Investigation

Conduct fundamental and comprehensive research and investigation.  Create interim research and findings reports, final research papers, and recommendation reports based on literature review and  nationwide identification and revision of similar projects/initiatives. 


Create an advisory committee, engage with experts in the field, develop and maintain partnerships with GBV agencies across Canada.  Create a community engagement committee reflecting the survivors’ intersectionality and experiences of violence that will provide feedback on the blueprints’ development and implementation. Conduct effective consultations with GBV service providers across Canada and survivors of GBV. 

Public Engagement and Project Administration

Maintain continuous public engagement through social media and other outlets; speaking engagements and public education; ongoing project reporting & evaluation, and other project administration documents. 

If you want to participate or hear more about this project, please Contact Us