The Circle Education Launches ‘It’s Not Just’ Campaign

September 14, 2023

For the second year, The Circle Education – as a funded partner with the Federal government – will launch the ‘It’s Not Just’ campaign. This youth awareness campaign shows that gender-based violence is ‘not just physical’.

What is gender-based violence?

Every day, people across the country face violence because of their gender, gender expression, gender identity or perceived gender. This is called gender-based violence (GBV), but what it is or looks like may be more than what you think or have heard.

When we think about GBV, we may think it is someone physically hurting their romantic partner, which it is. But GBV can also include words, actions or attempts to hurt you or someone physically, emotionally or sexually, no matter the relationship with you, in person or online. While there are many types of GBV, they commonly fall into four categories:

Emotional violence

Words or actions to control or scare someone, or to lower their self-respect and self-esteem, including:

threats, insults, humiliation and intimidation

controlling, constantly checking in or stalking

deadnaming, “outing” someone or denying someone’s gender identity

isolating someone from friends or family

Physical violence

Any use or threat to use physical force against a romantic partner or family member, some examples include:

shoving, hitting, kicking, or punching

restraining someone or locking them in

throwing breaking, or hitting objects


Financial violence

When a person uses money or property to control or exploit someone else, like:

stealing PINs to bank accounts

pressuring or blackmailing someone to give money or buy gifts

preventing someone from going to school by not allowing them to pay tuition or work

controlling someone’s purchases

Sexual violence

Acts of sexual violence can be committed by anyone in any setting, even within a relationship. These can include:

forced sexual touching or acts, including to someone else

attempting or threatening to obtain sex without consent

using pressure or threats to get someone to engage in sexual activity

unwanted sexual comments or advances

sharing private sexual images without consent

removing condoms without consent

Who is affected by gender-based violence?

Women, girls, transgender, and gender diverse people are most affected by GBV. Within these groups, some who are at higher risk of experiencing GBV include:

Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people

Black women

newcomer women to Canada

lesbian, gay, bisexual and people of other sexual orientations than heterosexual

women living in Northern, rural, or remote communities

women with disabilities

How does gender-based violence affect me?

Whether you’ve directly experienced GBV or not, it has likely had an impact on your life. GBV can reduce people’s quality of life, change the way we interact with each other, make studying and attending school difficult, increase the risks of illnesses, and create cycles of violence and abuse in families, schools and communities. Gender-based violence holds everyone back.

What can I do to get help?

If you or someone you know is experiencing gender-based violence, talk to a safe adult. Because gender-based violence is never “just one time” or “just words”. It’s never “just” anything — it’s violence.

Gender-based violence is never just.

Get support: KidsHelpPhone.ca / HopeForWellness.ca

Learn more: Canada.ca/ItsNotJust

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