DV @ Work NL Project Update: Getting the Survey our the door

The good news is that a national survey on Domestic Violence (DV) and its impact on the workforce, was circulated in 2014 and, thanks to this initial work by the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) and an amazing team at the University of Western Ontario (UWO) – there is ongoing work rolling right across the country. The bad news is that back in 2014, this survey’s uptake wasn’t strong in Atlantic Canada. There weren’t enough surveys completed for the results to be ‘statistically significant.’ So, the first task for the DV@WORK-NL team was to re-jig the original 2014 survey – and launch it again!

We are determined to increase participation in the survey in Newfoundland and Labrador! We want to ensure that, along with key cross-provincial comparisons that the data from the survey will offer, we will also be able to provide and analyse some new kinds of data – specifically relevant to Newfoundland and Labrador. So…

This summer involved considerable consultation with a whole host of partners. This involved painstaking edits to the original survey by NAWN, OAWA, NLFL, the Mokami Status of Women Council – along with feedback from our own board at the St. John’s Status of Women Council, and feedback by the Canadian Federation of Students at Memorial University and the Safe Harbour Outreach Project (SHOP) here in St. John’s – just to name a few. By the end of the summer our survey was carefully re-jigged with Newfoundland and Labrador in mind!

  • International students at MUN recommended some new questions that relate specifically to ‘precarious labour.’ They challenged us to gather data on students working inside the university itself and outside in precarious, part-time jobs. They also encouraged us to look carefully at how immigrants and refugees might be intercepting workplace supports.
  • Key activists from SHOP pointed out that working alone (or even isolated in a home office) might offer additional/unique challenges to women in need of resources.
  • Rich discussions in Corner Brook helped identify the way DV can impact LGBTQ2S survivors. Just as an example, without the right emergency supports, an abuser and their victim could find themselves in the same room in a shelter!

This much is clear: when it comes to examining the way DV impacts our workplaces – critical resources need to be both identified and developed. The support provided in our workplaces via coworkers and employers – can play an integral role in how things play out. Preliminary discussions and interviews have made us even more determined to angle in on key demographics that have, to date, been sidelined out of community discussions. Needless to say – our list of questions is growing daily.

After the editing was completed, the survey was quickly sent back into supportive hands at the Centre for Research and Education Woman and Children (CREWAC) at UWO. We were all so excited to see the online survey activated and so grateful for the ongoing support from CREWAC. Special thanks is owed to the CLC, who shared outreach ideas, press kits and resources and especially to Robyn Pike here at the St. John’s Status of Women Council, who brought the local campaign to life with some expertly crafted posters and press releases.

We are excited to report that on this front – there is still more to come; the survey outreach-team is not finished yet! The more surveys we manage to have filled out over the next few months – the more accurate our data will be here in Newfoundland and Labrador – and the better resources will be able to both identify and build. If you have already filled out the survey yourself – you can help the team enormously by sharing the link with family and friends and co-workers. The survey link will be active until January 2019 – but don’t wait until then! https://sjwomenscentre.ca/dvatworknl/


Provincial Action Network on the Status of Women supports the call for a Provincial Task Force on Gender-Based Violence


For Immediate Release
October 4, 2018

There has been a significant rise in the rates of domestic and sexual violence in Newfoundland and Labrador. In advance of the In Her Name vigil for missing and murdered women and girls of NL, the St. John’s Status of Women Council and St. John’s Native Friendship Centre are calling once again for the establishment of a provincial task force on gender-based violence. The Provincial Action Network on the Status of Women (PANSOW) is fully supporting this call to action.

We wish to see the establishment of a task force that is well-resourced, which includes a budget, staffing, strong terms of reference, and ministerial level accountability. If we are to see tangible change in the levels of violence women and girls experience daily we must have the political will to drive significant changes in legislation, policy, and funding.

We are aware of the Minister’s Committee on Violence Against Women and Girls in Newfoundland and Labrador struck last year and support that community collaboration. The committee can be a significant and vital part of the work of the task force. However, a St. John’s-centric committee alone is simply not the right mechanism to deal with the magnitude of the issues of violence against women and girls in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Paula Sheppard Thibeau, PANSOW Co-chair and Executive Director, Corner Brook Status of Women Council:

“Only through a collaborative approach that includes stakeholders from various sectors and areas of the province can we reduce violence in our families and communities. The work of a gender-based violence task force must focus on strengthening efforts for early identification and intervention, and providing individuals affected with the necessary supports to gain economic, psychological, and physical well-being.”

Raelene Vickers, Executive Director, Mokami Status of Women Council:

“Violence against women and girls in Labrador is a massive concern that needs to be addressed through a province-wide task force on gender-based violence. Labrador communities have some of the highest rates of domestic violence across the country, and too many women are at risk. The cultural needs of Indigenous communities in Labrador must be included in a provincial plan to end gender-based violence. Women and girls in Labrador need to know that their safety and lives matter to the province.”


Media Contacts

Paula Sheppard Thibeau
PANSOW Co-chair
Executive Director
Corner Brook Status of Women Council
Tel. 709.639.8522

Jenny Wright
Executive Director
St. John’s Status of Women Council
Tel: 709.753.0220

PANSOW applies a provincial lens to issues of equality and ensure a public voice for women from a non-partisan, grassroots, and feminist perspective. PANSOW consists of the Executive Directors of all eight councils in Newfoundland and Labrador. PANSOW’s mandate is two-fold: To educate and build awareness on broad issues related to gender equity and justice in the province; and to advocate for change in government policy and legislation that facilitates gender equity and justice.

For Immediate Release: 136 Missing and Murdered Women, One Unified Call for Action

St. John’s, NL – One year ago, the organizers of the annual In Her Name vigil issued a call for the creation of a provincial task force on gender-based violence. The crowd that had gathered that evening listened as one by one, 117 names of our province’s missing and murdered women and girls were read aloud from the steps of the Colonial Building. We resolved to make change on their behalf, to end violence against women and girls.

That change has not been forthcoming. To date, there has been no movement on the establishment of a provincial task force. Through historical research and tips from the public and family members of those who have been lost to violence, this year’s list has now grown to include the names of 136 women and girls. Newfoundland and Labrador has one of the highest rates of domestic violence in the country. Change is needed, and it’s needed now.

On Thursday, October 4, the St. John’s Status of Women Council and St. John’s Native Friendship Centre will join together in remembrance and will rally once more for action. The In Her Name vigil will take place at 6:30 p.m. in front of the Colonial Building at 90 Military Road in St. John’s. Jenelle Duval of Eastern Owl and Colleen Power will perform. The event will go ahead rain or shine and all are welcome.

Jenny Wright, Executive Director of the St. John’s Status of Women Council:

“A provincial task force on gender-based violence is past due. It is time to establish a well-resourced and fully funded task force to create a comprehensive plan to end violence against women and girls in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

Amelia Reimer, Cultural Support Coordinator of the St. John’s Native Friendship Centre:

“In light of the ongoing National Inquiry into Missing/Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations, and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, it is extremely important to continue to shine a light on the violence Indigenous women face in this country. Indigenous women continue to experience violence at a much higher rate than non-Indigenous women. At the In Her Name vigil, we will come together as a province to remember all women and girls that have lost their lives to this violence, and we honour and respect that we are all ‘Sisters in Spirit,’ both Indigenous and non-Indigenous.”

The St. John’s Status of Women Council received support from Department of Justice Canada’s Victims and Survivors of Crime Week fund to establish the In Her Name Healing Garden at the St. John’s Women’s Centre this past summer. Families and loved ones will now have a place to gather and remember not just at the vigil, but throughout the year.

Individuals or groups who wish to volunteer or to read a name at the In Her Name vigil are invited to contact Amelia Reimer at amelia@sjnfc.com.


Media Contacts

Jenny Wright
Executive Director
St. John’s Status of Women Council/Women’s Centre

Amelia Reimer
Cultural Support Coordinator
St. John’s Native Friendship Centre