Gender-based Violence Research Study

Gender-based violence is already prevalent in many homes and communities in Canada prior to the pandemic. 

About the Study

The Council of Agencies Serving South Asians (CASSA) is conducting a research study on gender-based violence (GBV) in the Canadian South Asian community to understand:

  1. how GBV has manifested during the pandemic; and
  2. to gain insight into ways service delivery agencies may improve their services and how they have succeeded.

In partnership with a core team of South Asian serving agencies, namely Progressive Intercultural Community Services (PICS) – British Columbia, Punjabi Community Health Services (PCHS) – Calgary, South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario (SALCO), and South Asian Womens’ Rights Organization (SAWRO) – Ontario, CASSA is gleaning data nationwide to create a deliverable that will be useful for service delivery agencies to provide effective support to GBV survivors during the pandemic and to create broader awareness of this silent epidemic.

Study Objectives

Gender-based violence is already prevalent in many homes and communities in Canada prior to the pandemic. Once the pandemic hit, gender-based violence as the silent epidemic that it is, took a sharp turn for the worse. Fear of a public health crisis and concern for personal health safety, overflow and lockdown of service delivery agencies, underemployment or the working from home dynamic further exacerbated the violence and left many victims at the mercy of empowered abusers.

CASSA has taken the initiative to conduct a national study to gain insight into how gender-based violence in the Canadian South Asian community has manifested during the pandemic, the many causes and effects from the eyes of service delivery agencies and survivors themselves, what has been required of service delivery agencies in this crucial time, and how they have had to shift their practices in serving clients due to the implications of the pandemic.

We have partnered with many South Asian serving agencies in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario to run focus groups with 150 GBV survivors. We have also spoken to many executive directors and field experts to understand the service delivery and academic perspective, needs, challenges and successes.

Study Timeline

September 2021

Planning Phase – planning direction of project with core team, creating outreach materials, and focus group/survey content.


October - November 2021

Data Collection Phase – recruitment of participants, contacting agencies with networks to support recruitment, conducting focus groups, interviews with service delivery agencies’ executive directors and field experts, and data entry.

December 2021 - January 2022

Analysis and Delivery Phase – analysis and merging of bottom-up and top-down data to meld int comprehensive deliverable.

Research Materials



For more information, inquiries or requests for collaboration, please contact:

Core Partners

External Partners