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Masks and Mobile Phones

People Experiencing Marginalization and the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic Response on Violence Against Women Services:


Image by Richard Hong

Study Co-Leads

Study Team & Advisory

  • Patricia O’Campo, St Michael's Hospital & University of Toronto

  • Janice Du Mont, Women's College Hospital & University of Toronto

  • Robin Mason, Women's College Hospital & University of Toronto

  • Monique Arcenal, WomanACT

  • Catherine Moses, WomanACT

  • Elizabeth Tremblay, WomanACT

  • Marija Huijbregts, Family Service Toronto

  • Lauren Hough, Ontario Brain Injury Association

  • Amanda Sim, McMaster University

  • Bridget Steele, University of Oxford

Advisory Group: Toronto Region Violence Against Women Coordinating Committee (VAWCC).​


For more information on the overall MARCO Study (Principal Investigators: Ahmed Bayoumi and Michelle Firestone, MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions) click here

About this study

In Canada, widespread adaptations were made during the COVID-19 pandemic across violence against women (VAW) sectors, and intersecting health, legal, economic, and social systems, with patchwork emergency funding and unsystematic documentation. The MARCO-VAW study aimed to investigate how the response to VAW evolved during the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada’s largest city, Toronto, and to develop actionable recommendations. We conducted a community-based participatory, mixed-methods study, involving surveys, focus groups, and interviews with 130 staff working at 32 VAW organizations and 10 survivors who accessed VAW services during the first 18 months of the pandemic.


Infographic summaries

Latest events

On 17 November 2022, we co-hosted a panel presentation with Dalhousie University's Department of Community Health & Epidemiology on regional recommendations for Canada's National Action Plan to End Gender Based Violence. The panelists included Dr. Alexa Yakubovich, Priya Shastri, Prof. Jennifer Koshan, Ann de Ste Croix, and Dr. Krys Maki.

On 22 June 2022 we participated in "Lighting up the Shadow Pandemic: Violence Against Women, Housing and COVID-19," a virtual panel event co-hosted with the Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation. The panelists included Dr. Alexa Yakubovich, Priya Shastri, Carla Neto, Dr. Krys Maki, Dr. Kaitlin Schwan, and Amy Deschamps.

On 23 June 2022, we co-hosted a webinar with the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research (MMFC) on our results from the MARCO-VAW study and the steps we are undertaking to expand this research in our Interprovincial VAW Project.   

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