Overcoming Barriers: A Coordinated Response to Violence against Immigrant Women in New Brunswick

Launched in 2015, this three-year project is built on the belief that no woman should have to navigate an unfamiliar, unresponsive, and under-resourced system when seeking support in situations of domestic and intimate partner violence (D/IPV). With a goal of ensuring timely access to information and services through a coordinated community response model, Overcoming Barriers’ stakeholders are diverse. It relies on partnerships, coordination and resource sharing between provincial government departments, D/IPV support service providers, immigrant serving and community organizations.

Overcoming Barriers aims to build bridges between immigrant women and D/IPV and immigrant service providers. Along with increased understanding about D/IPV among immigrants, public service providers will be educated about the complexities, increased risk, and structural barriers to safety faced by immigrant women in violent relationships. Findings will be integrated into provincial strategies and training around D/IPV experienced by newcomer women.

Along with improved services, Overcoming Barriers aims to connect women to each other, to help them share their stories about D/IPV for their own sakes, as well as to help develop culturally sensitive interventions.

*This project is possible due to funding by Status of Women Canada.

Project Objectives

    1. Assess and understand the structural barriers as well as the state of public services relating to immigrant women experiencing D/IPV in NB.
    2. Work with key stakeholders across the province to develop and implement a coordinated response to D/IPV experienced by immigrants.

“We’re absolutely learning a lot from each other. We have something in common. I don’t get the push-back from other members that I get elsewhere. It’s really a relief to have a place to talk, and people don’t run away.” – Member of the New Brunswick Immigrant Women’s Association

Project Location

The project is provincial in scope, with focus in three communities:

  • Greater Moncton and southeastern NB
  • Bathurst and Chaleur Region
  • Saint John and the Fundy region







  • Conducted a Needs Assessment Report, interviewing and conducting focus group discussions with over 100 individuals including immigrant women, service providers and researchers.
  • 2 workshops held with over 100 stakeholders in Saint John and Moncton to promote community-coordinated responses to immigrant women experiencing D/IPV.
  • Creation of the Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence Against Immigrant Women in New Brunswick: Provincial Reference and Resource Guides.
  • Supported the re-launch of the Muriel McQueen Ferguson Foundations Research Team on Violence Against Immigrant and Visible Minority Women in New Brunswick:
    • In May 2017, the MMFC research team partnered with the Asian Heritage Society of New Brunswick for their symposium held at the Breaking Barriers and Moving Forward – Narratives of Challenges Faced by Asian Women Diaspora and Immigrant Women in New Brunswick, and Strategies for their Successful Integration  Wu Centre in Fredericton.
    • The Symposium opened with the premier of the documentary, Breaking Barriers Moving Forward, which features 11 Asian women speaking about the challenges that they face living in New Brunswick society and the courageous ways in which they have overcome them.
  • Catalyzed the creation of the New Brunswick Immigrant Women’s Association
  • Established an NBMC representative on the New Brunswick Women’s Council.
  • Member Coordinated Community Response to High-Risk Cases of D/IPV working group.
  • Member of the Love Shouldn’t Hurt Committee


We invite you to follow the links below for more information on violence prevention and related research.

Other links of interest:

For more information, please email Ginette Gautreau, Project Manager at ginette.gautreau@nb-mc.ca