Our Research

PACSW provides advice to the Provincial Government through research and analysis on emergent issues adversely impacting women. This can take the form of position papers, briefs, environmental jurisdictional scans and recommended policy options.

Sexual Violence in the Post-Secondary Education Context: Informing Policy, Enacting Change

Though violence in the school setting is not a new phenomenon, there has been growing social and scientific concern about this issue in recent years with greater discussion surrounding the post-secondary system. Sexual violence (SV) is a serious issue and a gendered social problem with data showing women most often being the victims, and men most often the perpetrators. SV is a non-legal term that encompasses a wide range of actions and behaviours, including sexual harassment, contrary to the Human Rights Act, and sexual assault, which is a criminal offence under the Criminal Code of Canada.

Post-secondary institutions (PSIs) are spaces where there are many young people, and young people – particularly those who identify as women and those who occupy multiple intersections of oppression – experience SV in higher proportions than the general population. SV is a growing concern for PSIs; high profile cases, increased media coverage, student activism and legislative changes have led to more public awareness of and questions about the role of provincial government in preventing and responding to SV on campuses…(Click to view full research).

Child Sexual Abuse and Sexual Misconduct Within The K-12 Education System

1 in 10 Canadians have reported being sexually victimized before the age of 18 (Afifi, MacMillan, Boyle et al., 2014). In the majority of child sexual abuse (CSA) cases, the offender was known to the child (Department of Justice Canada, 2013). Police-reported incidents of sexual violations against children continue to increase; this is attributable to significant increases in incidents of luring a child via computers, as well as the establishment of specialized units in a police service proactively investigating this type of crime (Department of Justice Canada, 2019).  

This report reviews sexual misconduct by teachers and other school personnel within the context of child sexual abuse (CSA) and the sexual grooming process, examining legislation at the Canadian and international level; as well as within the broader category of professional misconduct, exploring policies and practices that address sexual misconduct by school personnel specifically across the Canadian provinces; and identifying gaps and trends in the data, reporting and disciplinary processes across jurisdictions….(click to view full research)

Jurisdictional Scan of Human Trafficking Legislation

Human trafficking is a serious crime and a violation of human rights, recognized as such by the international community. The majority of victims of trafficking at the global level are women. Trafficking for sexual exploitation is the most common form of trafficking; women again represent the vast majority of victims. Sex trafficking is thus recognized as a gender-based crime and a severe form of violence against women.

This report reviews anti-trafficking legislation at the international level by examining initiatives at the continental or regional level, including Europe and the European Union, as well as ‘best practices’ in a select number of countries in the western world, based on the rankings of Tier 1 countries (the highest ranking given) in the latest edition (2021) of the Trafficking in Persons Report, published by the United States Department of State, with the exception of Ireland, with a ranking of ‘Tier 2 watchlist’, which is included as a comparison against Tier 1 countries….(click to view full research)

Clare’s Law

“Clare’s Law” was first introduced in the United Kingdom and is named in honour of Clare Wood, a woman who was murdered by her partner and unaware of his violent past.

The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme gives members of the public a ‘right to ask’ police where they have a concern that their partner may pose a risk to them or where they are concerned that the partner of a member of their family or a friend may pose a risk to that individual. The aim of this scheme is to provide a formal mechanism to make inquiries about an individual if there is suspicion of them being abusive in the past. ….. (click to view full research)

Taxi Regulation in Canada

When taxi companies operate without regulatory frameworks, it raises a number of issues relating to ensuring public safety, consumer protection, and other public interests. Taxi regulations play an important role in ensuring the safe, orderly operation of ground transportation services and keeping drivers, passengers and the general public safe.

Newfoundland and Labrador is among the six Canadian provinces where no provincial legislation exists. The policy gaps in NL require provincial and municipal legislators review and consider taxi operations to protect passengers who buy a service in municipal environments. The taxi industry needs provincial legislation as a regulatory framework, and also needs municipal as each municipality can tailor their by-laws to the demand of their immediate communities.

Given the Provincial Government’s and PACSW’s joint commitment to ending violence and enhancing the safety, particularly of women and girls, we feel provincial legislation regarding the taxi industry is an important contribution to advancing that commitment…(click to view full research)

Municipal Legislation Review Submission

Municipal councils often find themselves in positions of having to deal with issues such as harassment and discrimination and few are equipped to handle these situations, particularly if they involve elected councilors. The creation of well understood, agreed upon policies and protocols related to respectful workplace is critical to providing councils with the tools to address these situations.

However, it is becoming increasingly evident that many are at a loss in terms of what to do in situations where councilors themselves are behaving inappropriately. PACSW is committed to having more women run for elected office as well as to supporting initiatives to end violence. Respectful municipalities are key to helping fulfill those goals. We, along with the other organizations working on the Respectful Municipalities working group, view the embedding of a mandatory Code of Conduct for municipal councilors in the Municipalities Act, as an essential element of building respectful municipalities….(click to view full research)

Jurisdictional Scan of Pay Equity Legislation in Canada

PACSW recognizes that eliminating the gender wage gap is a fundamental step toward ending women’s economic inequality, achieving inclusive societies, and sustaining economies. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador (The NL Government), by developing effective pay equity legislation, will play a significant role in reducing this gap.

In practical terms, pay equity is a compensation practice that requires an employer (public and private) to pay the same wage to female and male employees who are performing work of equal or comparable value. It is a broader concept than equal pay legislation that requires an employer to pay the same wage for the same (or substantially similar) work…(click to view full research)

Education Submission to the Premier’s Task Force

PACSW put a submission forward to the Premier’s task force, because we identify the education system in Newfoundland and Labrador as both an underlying challenge and a potential solution for a number of societal issues in our province. Following the introduction, we highlight some of the issues we feel need to be considered in the Newfoundland and Labrador education system. These issues are inclusiveness, relational approach, restorative justice, and mental wellness.

Parents, educators and the community all have a shared collective responsibility to educate children and youth in our province. As the famous adage states, “It takes a community to raise a child.” School should be a place where students look forward to attending, a place where they feel safe, feel they belong, and feel accepted for who they are by their peers and teachers. It should also be a place where teachers and administrators feel the same….(click to view full research)

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