May 5, 2017

Ontario Continues Work to End Violence Against Women

Pilot Project Helps Couples Reduce Conflict

Ontario will support a pilot project aimed at reducing conflict among couples as part of its work to end violence against women for an additional year.

Funding will allow Family Service Ontario to continue to provide counselling to couples across the province who experience low-risk, situational violence and help reduce behaviours and conflict that may lead to domestic violence.

The pilot project, now entering its third year, will assess the effectiveness of conjoint counselling.

Protecting vulnerable individuals and families and ensuring that they have access to the programs and services they need is part of Ontario’s plan to create jobs, grow the economy and help people in their everyday lives.


“Our government is committed to providing women who are at risk of violence with the supports they need. This pilot project will help us assess ways we can work with couples to reduce the patterns that lead to domestic violence.”
- Dr. Helena Jaczek, Minister of Community and Social Services

“The Conjoint Counselling Pilot project is demonstrating solid results in terms of couple satisfaction and reduced risk of domestic violence.  The pilot is showing that Family Service Agencies can help reduce the risk of violence using the Emotionally Focused Therapy intervention. Based on the research, Family Service Agencies have made a significant and perhaps even ground breaking win in the fight against domestic violence.”
- Alan McQuarrie, Board Chair, Family Service Ontario

Quick Facts

  • The government is investing $103,000 this year for the pilot project, bringing the total investment to $274,700 over three years.
  • The project is expected to serve at least 80 couples at three sites in its final year: Catholic Family Services Peel Dufferin, Haldimand-Norfolk R.E.A.C.H., and Thunder Bay Counselling Centre and Catholic Family Development Centre who together will offer services as one location in Northern Ontario.
  • Services will be available to women who request counselling with their partners for issues related to domestic conflict and who don’t have the means to pay.
  • All couples will be screened for safety to ensure participation would not put women at an increased risk of violence. Each partner will also be screen separately before starting counselling.

Lyndsay Miller, Minister’s Office, 416-325-5450
Takiya Tannis, Communications Branch, 416-325-0216