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The SurvivorsatthecentrE: Organizational Strategies to Generate Best Practices for Engaging and Embedding Survivors of Gender-Based Violence initiative is to develop a survivor-led standards manual to support the GBV sector on how to effectively engage survivors, using a trauma-informed and survivor-centred framework. 

Considering the significant rise of GBV during the pandemic, many organizations recognized the need to develop programs, procedures and internal organizational supports to ensure that the GBV sector could effectively support and embed survivors within their work.

As the first incorporated organization created by and for women, trans and gender diverse survivors of GBV, WomenatthecentrE received several requests from existing community partners and external organizations for consultations on how to effectively engage and incorporate survivors in all aspects of their work. As a result of multiple requests, we quickly recognized the need to develop this manual.

Portfolio: Research & Education

Using traditional & novel tools for information gathering, to better understand the nuances of gendered violence.


WomenatthecentrE Team

Nikki Plant (She/Her), Project Coordinator

This 37-month project will develop and implement promising intervention practices to advance knowledge and enhance empowerment supports for at-risk populations of survivors of human trafficking in Ontario, Alberta, Yukon, British Columbia, and Quebec.

This will be achieved by developing and delivering a survivor-led, "train-the-trainer" training program to front-line workers, hotel staff, healthcare workers, law enforcement, and members of the media, as well as the community at large; by shifting the public discourse of survivors to focus on their strengths, resilience, and resistance within the context of human trafficking; and by partnering with agencies and organizations that are well-known for cultivating research, advancing knowledge and advocating in the field of human trafficking to conduct participatory ground-breaking research within the Canadian context.

At the end of the project, the organization will have developed a Canada-wide membership program, designed by and for survivors of human trafficking, that focuses on community, collective healing, peer support, advocacy, training and awareness-raising activities and opportunities.

We adopted a proactive stance, initiating surveys directed at both survivors of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and GBV organizations.

The primary aim was to amass valuable insights directly from survivors, shedding light on their experiences when seeking support from GBV organizations. This inclusive approach allowed for the identification of practices that were both helpful and harmful within these organizations. The overarching goal was to enhance services for survivors by fostering a shift toward a more survivor-centred approach.

Concurrently, WomenatthecentrE engaged with GBV organizations to garner insights into their experiences during the pandemic. These surveys also encompassed inquiries about survivor-centred approaches within their organizational framework. The objective was to gain an understanding of how these organizations navigated the challenges posed by the pandemic, and specifically, how they tailored their services to align with survivor-centric principles.

The collected data from both survivors and organizations played a pivotal role in shaping the development of a survivor-led standards guidebook. This guidebook serves as a blueprint for the GBV sector, creating a trauma-informed and survivor-centred framework that elevates the support provided to survivors and the overall effectiveness of GBV organizations. By actively involving survivors and organizations, WomenatthecentrE is championing the empowerment of survivors and advancing practices that prioritize their well-being within the GBV sector.

SurvivorsatthecentrE ToolKit - GuideBook

SurvivorsatthecentrE ToolKit - Explainer Video

SurvivorsatthecentrE ToolKit - Language Matters

SurvivorsatthecentrE ToolKit - Harmful & Helpful Practices Infographic Video

SurvivorsatthecentrE ToolKit - Harmful & Helpful Practices Infographic

SurvivorsatthecentrE Toolkit - Within Our Walls

SurvivorsatthecentrE ToolKit - A Resource Guide Part I

SurvivorsatthecentrE ToolKit - A Resource Guide Part II

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