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 vawln@uwo.ca

You can view the terms associated with a letter by selecting the letter below. Crossed out letters do not have any terms. You can also click here for a PDF of all the included terms.


Lateral Violence

“Lateral violence takes on a number of different toxic behaviours, and it is any action that is meant to discourage or make a person feel bad in the workplace. If you are the target of lateral violence the constant barrage of negative behaviours can be likened to harassment and bullying. In its extreme form, lateral violence can be conscious, deliberate act of meanness with the overall intention to harm, hurt and induce fear in a co-worker. In other forms of lateral violence, the individual perpetrating the negative behaviour may not be aware of the meanness they are exhibiting and they may not be doing these actions intentionally.” [1]

“Although the most common place for lateral violence is in the workplace, it does cross the line into the community and home...” [1]


[1] Native Women's Association of Canada. (2011). Aboriginal Lateral Violence. Retrieved from https://www.nwac.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/2011-Aboriginal-Lateral-Violence.pdf

Legal Coaching

“Legal coaching is not legal representation: the legal coach does not go on the record for the client. Legal coaching allows a litigant to retain a lawyer to provide her with behind the scenes guidance and mentorship. The lawyer assists the client to develop strategies for her case, shares their knowledge and offers practical tools for the client to use. The lawyer can also provide tips about courtroom etiquette and decorum. The legal coach can offer assistance throughout the case on all issues or can provide that support at key moments in the family court process. A lawyer who has been retained to provide legal coaching can offer advice, draft documents, review documents that have been drafted by the client as well as assist the client prepare for court appearances. In their role as legal coach, the lawyer can assist the client to assess the strengths and weaknesses of her own case as well as that of her ex-partner. The lawyer can also help the client set realistic goals and can do legal research for the client’s case.

Legal coaching can be empowering for the client, who may learn new skills as well as increase her confidence through her relationship with her lawyer. The lawyer/client relationship can be more of a partnership than is likely in a traditional retainer where the lawyer speaks for the client in the legal process. The goal is to maximize the client’s capacity to take on the next steps on her own.” [1]

Learn More:


[1] Luke's Place. (2019, May). What is legal coaching? Retrieved from https://lukesplace.ca/what-is-legal-coaching/


Lethality refers to the possibility of something causing death. The Domestic Violence Death Review Committee with the Office of the Chief Coroner, Province of Ontario found that the top risk factors for lethal violence include:

  • History of domestic violence
  • Actual or pending separation
  • A perpetrator who was depressed
  • Obsessive behavior by the perpetrator
  • Prior threats or attempts to end their life [1]

Learn More:


[1] Office of the Chief Coroner, Province of Ontario. (2018). Domestic violence death review committee: 2017 annual report. Retrieved from  http://cdhpi.ca/sites/cdhpi.ca/files/2017-DVDRC-Report.pdf