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Gender-Based Violence

This guide was developed by Centennial Libraries, the Queering Community Social Club, and the Centre for Global Citizenship, Education, and Inclusion in recognition of 16 Days of Action Against Gender-Based Violence.

Access

Individuals who identify under the 2SLGBTQIA+ umbrella experience violence throughout their lifetime at high rates but service and support resources often aren’t inclusive of their unique circumstances or identities. The lack of resources, education and representation creates a society where queer folks are more vulnerable to victimization. This increases for queer folks of colour. It’s important for service providers to consider the intersections at which individuals experience gender-based violence in order to provide accessible, equitable, and effective support (TransFormed Project).

Find Support

Infographic titled" Scripts for service users." Examples: “Hi there, I’m calling to inquire about [program/service]. Can tell me if it’s 2SLGBTQIA [or individual identity, i.e., bisexual] friendly?”; "Can you tell me a bit about what kinds of interventions or processes you use that are inclusive of queer folks? Would I be able to identify my own gender when registering?"; "I'm calling to look for [service or program], do you have anything that could help me? If not, can you point me in the right direction?"; "I'd really like to find some resources that can help me build healthy queer relationships. Do you have anything like that? If not, is it something you will be providing in the future?"Telephone and chat services

Assaulted Women’s Helpline: The Assaulted Women’s Helpline offers a 24-hour telephone and TTY crisis line to all woman who have experienced abuse. Assistance in English and up to 154 other languages.
Phone: 1-866-863-0511 | TTY: 1-866-863-7868 | 24/7 assistance

Talk4Healing: Offers 24/7 help, support and resources for Indigenous women, by Indigenous women, all across Ontario. Services offered in Ojibway, Oji-Cree and Cree.
Phone:1-855-554-HEAL | Chat: www.talk4healing.com | 24/7 assistance

Fem'aide for Francophone ServicesFem’aide offers French-speaking women who have experienced gender-based violence, support, information and referral to appropriate front-line services within their communities.
Phone: 1-877-femaide (336-2433) | TTY: 1-866-860-7082 | 24/7 assistance

Support Service for Male Survivors of Sexual AssaultThe Support Services for Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse program provides help for male survivors of sexual abuse, both recent and historical. The program is the first of its kind in Canada and is delivered by agencies across the province.
Phone: 1-888-887-0015 | 24/7 assistance

Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth LineYouth Line offers confidential, non-judgemental, and informed LGBTTQQ2SI peer support.
Hours: Friday to Sunday from 4:00pm to 9:30pm EST
Phone: 1-800-268-9688 | Text: 647-694-4275
Chat with Peer Support Volunteer: www.youthline.ca

Nisa Helpline: Nisa Helpline is a peer-to-peer counselling helpline available to Muslim women of all ages.
Phone: 1-888-315-NISA (6472) | Hours: Monday to Friday: 10:00am to 10:00pm EST

Trans Lifeline: Hotline staffed by transgender people for transgender people.
Phone: 1-877-330-6366 | Hours: 10:00 am – 4:00 am EST


Counselling & Community Support

Anishinawbe Health Toronto Two-Spirit/Trans Services: Two Spirit/Trans* Services has a dedicated counsellor available for regular ongoing sessions to community members. The program also includes a Peer Mentor who provides supports to ensure that clients have access to traditional knowledge and ceremonies as well as guidance and experience connected to the processes involved in transitioning.
Phone: 416-920-2605 (Ask for the Mental Health Coordinator) | Hours: Monday to Friday, 10 am – 12:30 pm and 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm

2-Spirited People of the 1st Nations: Host regular events for 2S people across Toronto, both virtually and in person. Programming includes: Gender Affirming Support Program – ongoing, includes counselling and free gender affirming supplies; Traditional Teaching Sessions; Full and New Moon Ceremonies; and more. Most active and up to date information can be found on their Instagram page.

The 519Programming and services for LGBTQ2S communities in Toronto and beyond.
Friendly Check-In Over the Phone for Racialized and Trans Folks of Colour: Chat with a peer member of The 519’s Trans People of Colour Project (TPOC), and get affirming support and other information and resources. 
Hours: Monday to Friday – 10am to 5pm, Thursdays – 10am to 1pm | Email: TPOC@The519.org
Queer Muslim Community Circle: An affirming space by and for LGBTQ2S Muslims to connect, grow, and heal together.
Join: Second Tuesday of every month, 6:30 pm. Register here.

Friends of Ruby: Offers mental health & wellness services such as counselling. As of November 2021, there is a waitlist for online counselling, however, drop-in programming and services are available 
Phone: 416-359-0237 | Email: info@friendsofruby.ca

Planned Parenthood Toronto: A pro-choice community health centre that advances and advocates for the sexual health, health, and well being of youth. Offers diverse programming, including: Workshops on Sexual Health and Healthier RelationshipsNBD (non-binary BIPOC drop-in); Health Services Peer Education; and more.
Phone: 416-961-0113 | Email: ppt@ppt.on.ca

Checklist for Professionals Interacting with Service Providers

Professionals working in health and support services can also work to build relationships with service providers. An ongoing dialogue can push providers in the right direction to better serve clients with intersecting identities. A few questions to consider when working with service providers:

  • Do your intake forms allow service users to identify their own gender (versus checkboxes)?
  • Do you have 2SLGBTQIA+ programs and services, and if so were 2SLGBTQIA+ involved in creating and forming such programming? 
  • If you don’t have 2SLGBTQIA+ specific programming, are you equipped to refer service users to programs that may serve them more directly? Do you have connections to 2SLGBTQIA+ programming outside of your organization? 
  • Does your educational and promotional material addressing intimate partner violence include representation from within the 2SLGBTQIA community? Does your representation include racialized individuals and communities? 
  • Are you aware of the unique ways 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals might experience abuse, or threats partners might use to coerce or keep survivors quiet? (i.e., restricting a partner’s access to hormone therapy, and/or gender-affirming clothing from a partner, threatening to out a partner to family or work etc.) 

You may also want to ask in what ways a service provider is addressing the identity of your client, for example do they have specific trans or 2Spirit programming, versus programming that only addresses the general umbrella.   

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