Advice from Survivors

Two new resources have been developed in partnrship with the Learning Network based on research conducted by the CDHPIVP project with survivors of domestic violence. 

1. Stay with them: Survivors of intimate partner violence share insights on how family and friends can help

2. There's a way out: Insights from survivors of intimate partner violence.


The Learning Network in partnership with the Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative with Vulnerable Populations (CDHPIVP) is honoured to amplify the voices of survivors and share their advice to family and friends of those who are experiencing Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). Each piece of advice is directly informed by what survivors shared, and quotes from survivors are included here.

We recognize that responses to IPV must be informed by survivors. We appreciate the bravery of survivors in sharing their declarations and continuing to advocate for change.

“It’s like being a prisoner on a desert island and seeing a boat. And the boat comes really, really, really close to you but then it goes…  And every time the boat gets really, really close to you, you try to think of a way of sending a signal. But you got to be careful because if you send a signal, he’s there watching you and he knows when you're sending a signal.”

More than 80 survivors across Canada shared their knowledge in interviews conducted as part of the CDHPIVP. CDHPIVP researchers interviewed women who had experienced IPV to learn how they managed the abuse and violence in their relationships, how they sought safety, and what advice they would give to others experiencing violence. The survivors were no longer in an abusive relationship, felt they were safe when they participated in the interview, and were no longer involved in any criminal proceedings.

Women interviewed came from diverse communities and experiences including:

  • Living in rural, remote, and northern regions
  • Immigrant or refugee status
  • Indigenous

The advice shared is broadly applicable to survivors of all gender identities although those interviewed exclusively identified as women. Sharing the voices of women survivors of IPV is important given the high rate at which women, especially marginalized women, face IPV and the barriers they encounter in seeking support. We recognize the necessity of and look forward to efforts to center the voices of survivors of all identities.