Bridges to Safety: Building the capacity of the settlement sector to respond to gender-based violence, together with the anti-violence sector

Bridges to Safety, is our new online course about responding to gender-based violence GBV in the settlement and anti-violence sectors.  We look forward to your participation and continuing discussion of the course content. This course will introduce you to GBV, considerations for working with newcomer, immigrant and refugee communities, and the collaborative tools we can use to address it.  

Welcome to our course registration information.  This is a free, 15-hour, self-directed course to be completed over 6 weeks. Here you will find the course syllabus and overview.  Please register at - enroll now (eventbrite page). 


The Fall cohort is now closed, the English course will be offered again in the new year. The French version of Bridges to Safety will be launched in 2022.


If you have questions or there is a tech glitch please contact me and I will do my best to find out the answer. 

Warm Regards,


Kathryn Bates-Khan 

(my pronouns are she/her)


Manager Gender Based Violence Prevention Project

YMCA of Greater Halifax/Dartmouth, Centre for Immigrant Programs 

104-7071 Bayers Rd Halifax NS, B3L 2C2

T: 902-457-1959  M: 902-456-7223   E:     Facebook     Twitter   

What is Bridges to Safety?

Bridges to Safety is a comprehensive, nationally available, introductory online training course for settlement and anti-violence staff. It aims to build a common base of knowledge, increase awareness and education, and enhance the capacity of service providers to recognize and respond to GBV in ways that meet the unique needs of newcomer, immigrant and refugee communities. It also aims to increase the capacity of the settlement and anti-violence sectors to work collaboratively in this area, and to focus on building bridges, not silos, between sectors.

Through this course, you will learn about many different forms of gender-based violence, how to recognize them, and how to offer support in ways that are culturally safe, anti-racist, trauma and violence-informed, and that acknowledge the intersectionality of those we serve in our organizations. You will also learn the importance of collaboration in responding to gender-based violence.

Who Should Take This Course?
  • Leadership and frontline professionals in settlement organizations interested in using this knowledge to implement strategies to better serve their clients who have experienced violence

  • Leadership and frontline professionals in anti-violence organizations interested in using this knowledge to better serve their clients from newcomer, immigrant, and refugee communities

  • Other interested professionals who work with newcomers, immigrants, and refugees, or those who want to learn more about gender-based violence

  • Students, volunteers, or anyone else who wants to learn more about gender-based violence in order to be better prepared to recognize and respond to it


Benefits of Bridges to Safety

This course provides introdcutory knowledge about gender-based violence and collaboration strategies for the settlement and anti-violence sectors, and encourages participants to:

  • Learn about the many types of gender-based violence

  • Understand the root causes of gender-based violence

  • Recognize and respond to gender-based violence

  • Support and meet the unique needs of newcomer, immigrant, and refugee survivors of gender-based violence

  • Build bridges between the settlement and anti-violence sectors


The Bridges to Safety online course was developed with funding from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), in partnership with members from the Canadian Immigrant Settlement Sector Alliance – Alliance canadienne du secteur de l’établissement des immigrants (CISSA-ACSEI), the Ending Violence Association of Canada (EVA CAN), the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI), and the YMCA of Greater Halifax/Dartmouth, led by curriculum development consultant Sidrah Ahmad-Chan, with support from research consultant Salina Abji and videography from Sentient Media Solutions.