Gender Based Violence (GBV) can be defined as a structural problem that is deeply embedded in unequal power relationships between men and women and disproportionately affects women.  Child, early or forced marriages, female genital mutilation, domestic violence, early and forced pregnancies are some examples of GBV that affect girls and women through out their lives. GBV can take place anywhere, including at home, at school, within communities, in public institutions and at work. Different forms of GBV affect women throughout their lives and they include.

  1. Physical Violence which involves use of physical force such as hitting, slapping, kicking, burning or pushing.
  2. Sexual Violence which includes pressuring or forcing someone to perform sexual acts from kissing to sex, against their will, or making sexual comments that make someone feel humiliated or uncomfortable. It doesn’t matter if the person has previously consented to sexual behaviour, consent must be given at the time of the act.
  3. Emotional or Psychological violence which is often the most difficult form of violence to identify. It may include humiliating, threatening, insulting, pressuring and expressions of jealousy or possessiveness such as controlling someone’s decisions and activities. It can also include restricting someone’s movements. This form of violence can be verbal or nonverbal.
  4. Economic Violence is when someone else exercise complete control over a person’s money and other economic resources. This type of violence is away of exerting power and can be used to control someone’s movements for example by keeping them from meeting with friends.


  1. Unequal power relations, GBV is inflicted by abusers who believe that their sex or gender entitles them to use (or threaten to use) force or power over someone else with the intent to cause them harm or control their behaviour.
  2. Local status and values of women and girls (and people who do not conform to their gender binary)
  3. Gender stereotypes and norms that justify violence
  4. Because it is often condoned or perpetrated by governments as “normal”
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Because GBV stems from unequal power relations between women and girls and men and boys. Tooro’s Pride programs transform gender relations by encouraging boys and girls and women to enjoy power with each other, rather than power over each other

Our programs and work directly address GBV and focus on changing not just the social conditions in which women and girls live but their social positions. We apply this approach through our activities like.

  1. Advocating with law makers and/ or community leaders to promote gender equality, and to challenge GBV including practices like child, early or forced marriages.
  2. Establishing and facilitating safe spaces and clubs.
    • For adolescent girls and boys where they are taken through a self reflection journey of change and can openly discuss sensitive topics like self esteem, sexuality, and relationships to instill gender equitable attributes and behaviours.
    • For women that discuss gender equality and tackle gender norms and widely held negative stereotypes that contribute to GBV
    • For men to reflect on gender inequality, negative masculinity to champion gender equality and tackle GBV (in order to change and tackle unequal power relations, we target and systematically engage men and boys.


  1. Assist in the development of safety plans for women and their children
  2. Individual counselling and support to address issues of violence and abuse against women
  3. Housing support planning
  4. Developing short- and long-term goals
  5. Assisting women in meeting their goals and carrying out transitional plans
  6. Provide emotional support
  7. Providing services or referrals to any services pertaining to women seeking a violence free life
  8. Provide advice in the areas of finding and maintaining housing, including budget management and life skills
  9. Provide advocacy with third parties where necessary, including interactions with police, family and children’s services, Ontario works, Ontario Disability Support Program, Court appearances etc.
  10. Referrals for children and youth who have witnessed and experienced violence
  11. Liaison and advocacy with police services, victims witness, victim services and legal aid
  12. Arrange for cultural interpreters