This Glossary provides a central place to find the meaning of key terms in Gender-Based Violence (GBV) work and to access resources for further learning. It will grow and change as the GBV field does. If you find a term should be added or revised, please contact us at gbvln@uwo.ca

You can view the terms associated with a letter by selecting the letter below. Crossed out letters do not have any terms.


Date Rape Drugs

“Drugs that have been used in date rapes include flunitrazepam (Rohypnol) and gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB). These drugs inhibit a person's ability to resist sexual assault.” [1]

“Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol) is a central nervous system depressant. It is similar to diazepam (such as Valium) but about 10 times more potent. It is commonly called roofies. It is a tasteless, odorless tablet that can be crushed and dissolved in liquid. It has been used in date rapes, because it can be slipped into a person's drink without it being detected. One small tablet can produce effects for 8 to 12 hours.” [1]

“Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a central nervous system depressant. GHB is a clear, odourless liquid that looks like water and so can be added to a beverage without the person knowing it. It may also be used in the form of a white powder. GHB is also known as liquid ecstasy, G, or soap.” [1]


[1] HealthLinkBC. (2019, August 22). Date rape drugs. 

Dating Violence

“A type of intimate partner violence often referred to in the context of adolescent relationships. It occurs between two people in a dating relationship and involves physical, psychological, and sexual abuse.” [1]

Learn More:


[1] Etherington, N. A., & Baker, L. (2018). Preventing Revictimization and Use of Aggression Following Girls’ Maltreatment: A life course approach. Learning Nework Issue-Based Newsletter #6. London, Ontario: Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children. ISBN 978-1-988412-20-7  Retrieved from http://www.vawlearningnetwork.ca/our-work/reports/discussion_paper_18.html


“Deadnaming is the act of calling a transgender person by an incorrect name. Often, this is a name they were given at birth and no longer use.” [1] Jacq Hixson-Vulpe, with The 519, states that deadnaming “insists that trans people aren’t who we say we are. It is a way of policing trans communities and reminding us that we don’t even get the space to self-determine our own identities…It is not just neutral information about a name that someone used to go by, it is a way of enacting violence on trans people and our identities.” [2]

Learn More:


[1] Uplift Center for Grieving Children. (n.d.). Gender 101: How To Avoid Misgendering and Deadnaming. P.2. Retrieved from https://upliftphilly.org/programs/uplift-resources/lgbtqia-youth/

[2] Hixson-Vulpe, Jacq as cited in Singh, Katherine. (2020). What Is Deadnaming and Why Is It Harmful? Fashion Magazine. Retrieved from https://fashionmagazine.com/flare/what-is-deadnaming-elliot-page/


“Decolonization is the process of deconstructing colonial ideologies of the superiority and privilege of Western thought and approaches. On the one hand, decolonization involves dismantling structures that perpetuate the status quo and addressing unbalanced power dynamics. On the other hand, decolonization involves valuing and revitalizing Indigenous knowledge and approaches and weeding out settler biases or assumptions that have impacted Indigenous ways of being. For non-Indigenous people, decolonization is the process of examining your beliefs about Indigenous Peoples and culture by learning about yourself in relationship to the communities where you live and the people with whom you interact.” [1]

“Decolonization using human rights instruments can work to increase safety for Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people, if those instruments are understood in relation to the basic principles… respect, reciprocity, and interconnectedness.” [2]

“For Indigenous women, youth, and gender-diverse people, it is imperative that a decolonized understanding of gender precedes any GBA [Gender-Based Analysis] application. The connection between land/body/culture and health is one that is very important to Indigenous women, and two-spirit and gender diverse persons.” [3]


[1] Cull, I. Hancock, R., McKeown, S., Pidgeon, M., and Vedan, A. (2018). Pulling together: A guide for front-line staff, student services, and advisors. BC Campus: Victoria BC. Retrieved from https://opentextbc.ca/indigenizationfrontlineworkers/

[2] National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. (2019). Reclaiming power and place: The final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Vol. 1a. P. 183. Retrieved from https://www.mmiwg-ffada.ca/final-report/

[3] Native Women’s Association. (2020). ECCCO Impact Assessment Project


“Deepfakes are fake videos made through the use of advanced technology. They make it appear as though individuals are in videos they never took part in. Production of a deepfake requires photos or videos that could be taken in-person, from social media, or otherwise found online.” [1]

The term “non-consensual sexual deepfakes” is often used to capture “the non-consensual use of adults’ images and videos in the production and distribution of sexual deepfakes.” [1] It is a form of image-based sexual abuse.

Learn More:



[1] Learning Network. (2019). What you need to know about non-consensual sexual deepfakes. Retrieved from https://www.vawlearningnetwork.ca/our-work/infographics/nonconsensualsexualdeepfakes/What%20You%20Need%20to%20Know%20About%20Non-Consensual%20Sexual%20Deepfakes.pdf


Deepnudes are named after an application called DeepNude that “uses a photo of a clothed person and creates a new, naked image of that same person. It… only works on images of women.” [1]

While the first DeepNude application was later taken down from the host site, copies of it are still being shared online. [2]


[1] Cole, S. (2019, June 26). This horrifying app undresses a photo of any woman with a single click. Motherboard: Tech by Vice. Retrieved from https://www.vice.com/en/article/kzm59x/deepnude-app-creates-fake-nudes-of-any-woman

[2] Vincent, J. (2019, July 3). Copies of AI deepfake app DeepNude are easily accessible online — and always will be. The Verge. Retrieved from https://www.theverge.com/2019/7/3/20680708/deepnude-ai-deepfake-app-copies-easily-accessible-available-online

Developmental Trauma

“Developmental Trauma is a term used in the literature to describe childhood trauma such as chronic abuse, neglect or other harsh adversity in their own homes. When a child is exposed to overwhelming stress and their caregiver does not help reduce this stress, or is the cause of the stress, the child experiences developmental trauma.” [1]

“Developmental traumas are also called Adverse Childhood Experiences. These are chronic family traumas such as having a parent with mental illness or substance abuse, losing a parent due to divorce, abandonment or incarceration, witnessing domestic violence, not feeling loved or that the family is close, or not having enough food or clean clothing, as well as direct verbal, physical or sexual abuse. The impact of these traumas has been researched extensively.” [1]

Learn More:


[1] What is Developmental Trauma/ACES? (n.d.) Childhood Trauma Toolkit: A Resource for Pediatric Healthcare Providers. Canadian Mental Health Association


A disclosure of sexual and gender-based violence refers to an individual sharing their experience of being harmed through a form of gender-based violence. A disclosure does not always mean an individual would like to report their experience. The most important part of responding to a disclosure is to believe them. [1]

Learn More:



[1] University of Calgary. (2020). Responding to Disclosures of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence. Retrieved from https://www.ucalgary.ca/live-uc-ucalgary-site/sites/default/files/teams/141/SV%20guide%202022%20v4.pdf


Discrimination is behaviour that results from prejudiced attitudes by individuals or institutions, resulting in unequal outcomes for persons who are perceived as different. It is the unfair treatment due to a “Prohibited Ground” under the Human Rights Code, which includes race, sex, sexual orientation, gender orientation and gender expression, same sex partner status, colour, ancestry, place of origin, ethnic origin, marital status, age, disability, citizenship, family status, or religion.

Discrimination includes, but is not restricted to, the denial of equal treatment, civil liberties and opportunities to individuals or groups with respect to education, accommodation, health care, employment and access to services, goods and facilities. [1]

Learn More:


[1] Canadian Human Rights Commission. (2002). What is Discrimination? 


“Dissociation is a coping strategy to manage overwhelming experiences. In the absence of stress, the mind is able to collect all the information around us – sensations, feelings, thoughts, behaviours and identity – and use it to make sense of one’s experience. This means that at any given moment we know who we are, where we are, what we are thinking and feeling, and so on. However, in an overwhelming or unbearable situation, a person may dissociate, or protect herself by disconnecting from aspects of what she is experiencing. This makes the situation momentarily tolerable. When one dissociates, one or more pieces of information are cut off from the self, resulting in a fragmented or confusing sense of oneself or of the experience. When there is chronic traumatization, dissociation may become a well-practiced strategy that can lead to problems in daily life and/or increase one’s vulnerability to additional harm. For example, individuals who dissociate regularly may: feel as though there are large periods of time when they don’t know what happened; find themselves in places without any memory of how they got there; find evidence that they have engaged in some activity – for example, gone shopping – but not have any memory of it; be told they were acting different or strange; have others insist they know them from somewhere, but have no memory of meeting this person.” [1]


[1] Women's College Hospital. (n.d.). Mental health signs and symptoms. Retrieved from https://www.womenshealthmatters.ca/health-centres/mental-health/trauma/signs-and-symptoms

Domestic Homicide

“Domestic homicide is defined as the killing of a current or former intimate partner, their child(ren), and/or other third parties. An intimate partner can include people who are in a current or former married, common-law, or dating relationship. Other third parties can include new partners, other family members, neighbours, friends, co-workers, helping professionals, bystanders, and others killed as a result of the incident. Domestic homicide is a form of gender-based violence rooted in historical patterns of inequality, exclusion and discrimination.” [1]

Learn More:


[1] Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative. (2013). Domestic homicide in Canada. Retrieved from http://cdhpi.ca/sites/cdhpi.ca/files/Fact_Sheet_1_DH-in-Canada.pdf


Domestic Violence

“Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviour used by one person to gain power and control over another with whom… [they have or have] had an intimate relationship. It may include physical violence, sexual, emotional and psychological intimidation, verbal abuse, stalking, and use of electronic devices to harass and control. Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence, regardless of age, race, religion, sexual orientation, economic status or educational background.” [1] The individual engaging in abuse may be a current or former spouse or intimate partner or a family member.

“Domestic violence is also known as Personal Relationship Violence, Intimate Partner Violence, Woman Abuse or Family Violence. The term Domestic Violence is most widely used in Ontario and Canada.” [1]

Learn More:



[1] Public Services Health & Safety Association. (2010). Addressing domestic violence in the workplace: A handbook. Public Services Health & Safety Association. Toronto, ON. 

Domestic Violence Court (DVC) Program

“In DVC programs, domestic violence cases are heard separately from other criminal law cases by specific judges who are trained about violence between intimate partners and familiar with the issues involved in these types of cases. The program also includes special training about intimate partner violence for police, Crown lawyers, probation officers and other staff that are involved in the program.” [1]


[1] Ontario Women's Justice Network. (2016, August). Ontario’s domestic violence court program. Retrieved from http://owjn.org/2016/08/ontarios-domestic-violence-court-program/

Domestic Violence Intervention

“Action taken to stop domestic violence, lessen its effects on the victims and their families, and hold the abuser accountable.” [1] “Domestic Violence Interventions are delivered to either victims or perpetrators after the violence has occurred so as to reduce negative impacts and prevent reoccurrence.” [2]


[1] Domestic Violence Prevention Committee (2009, June). Deputy Ministers’ Leadership Committee on Family Violence. Retrieved from http://www.gov.ns.ca/just/global_docs/DVPC_recommendations.pdf

[2] Buckle, L., Simpson, B., Berger, S., & Metcalfe, R. (2014, June). Prevention and early intervention for domestic violence. Calgary Women Shelter. Retrieved from https://www.calgarywomensshelter.com/images/pdf/Prevention&EarlyIntervention_DV_FCSSJune2014.pdf

Domestic Violence Prevention

“Actions taken to prevent the onset or repetition of domestic violence. Prevention includes activities and approaches that promote safe, healthy relationships and behaviors.” [1] “Prevention activities can be delivered to the whole population or to groups without regard to individual risk levels (i.e. universal interventions), or to particular groups that are at heightened risk of using or experiencing violence (i.e. selected interventions).” [2]

Learn More:


[1] Domestic Violence Prevention Committee (2009, June). Deputy Ministers’ Leadership Committee on Family Violence. Retrieved from http://www.gov.ns.ca/just/global_docs/DVPC_recommendations.pdf

[2] Buckle, L., Simpson, B., Berger, S., & Metcalfe, R. (2014, June). Prevention and early intervention for domestic violence. Calgary Women Shelter. Retrieved from https://www.calgarywomensshelter.com/images/pdf/Prevention&EarlyIntervention_DV_FCSSJune2014.pdf

Domestic Violence Screening

“Domestic violence screening is the process of identifying warning signs for domestic violence. This process is critical for assessing and managing risk for domestic violence. Correct identification of warning signs allows us to assess risk and, where it exists, take appropriate steps to manage it; but missed identification of warning signs represent a lost opportunity to prevent domestic violence and protect potential victims/survivors.” [1]

Learn More:


[1] Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children (CREVAWC) (2012).  Domestic Violence Risk Assessment and Management On-Line Training Course. Retrieved from https://rise.articulate.com/share/IqQaO7T9LYt-N4gLC0l5oQ2Gurwg68Nh#/


Doxing is a form of technology-facilitated violence and refers to publishing private information (such as address, phone number) or publicly identifying another individual as a form of revenge or punishment. [1]

Learn More:



[1] Legge, C. (n.d.). Technology-facilitated violence, abuse, and harassment against women and

girls: A 21st Century Challenge. University of Toronto.

Retrieved from Technology-facilitated violence, abuse, and harassment against women and girls: A 21st Century Challenge | International Human Rights Program (utoronto.ca)

Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault

“Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault (DFSA) occurs when alcohol or other drugs are used to intentionally sedate or incapacitate a person in order to perpetrate non-consensual sexual assault. In essence, a person utilizes incapacitating substances as a weapon to facilitate the sexual assault. The Criminal Code of Canada (section 273.1) defines consent as a “voluntary agreement of the complainant to engage in the sexual activity in question.” Consent cannot be obtained if the person is incapable of consenting to the activity (i.e., the person is drunk, stoned, unconscious)…There are two types of DFSA:

  1. Proactive – a perpetrator puts a drug into a victim’s drink or gives a victim alcohol until she becomes inebriated and incapacitated
  2. Opportunistic – a perpetrator targets an already intoxicated or incapacitated victim.” [1]

Learn More:


[1] Campbell, M. (May 2014).  Drug facilitated sexual assault. Learning Network Brief (20). London, Ontario: Learning Network, Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children. Retrieved from https://www.vawlearningnetwork.ca/our-work/briefs/brief-20.html