Faculty & Staff


Diane Hiebert-Murphy

Office: 417A Tier Building
Phone: 204-474-9869
Fax: 204-474-7594

Email: Diane.Hiebert-Murphy@umanitoba.ca


1995 - Ph.D., University of Manitoba
1987 - M.A., University of Manitoba
1982 - B.S.W., University of Manitoba

Areas of Specialization:

• Family violence;
• Family-centered practice.


Power and Relationship Satisfaction in Couples with a History of Violence
(Principal Investigator, Dr. Janice Ristock, Co-Investigator)

The focus of this SSHRC-funded study is how power operates within relationships where violence/abuse has occurred. The study asks new questions about couples who have experienced violence in the past and stay in the relationship. Women’s and men’s experiences of how power (both interpersonal and structural) operates in the relationship and affects relationship satisfaction are being explored.

The Couples Project: Treatment for couples who have experienced violence in their relationships
(Principal Investigator/Clinical Supervisor)


The Couples Project has been funded since 1998 by the Family Violence Prevention Program, Department of Family Services and Labour. It is a service/training/research program designed to help couples that have experienced abuse in the past and want to work towards an abuse free-relationship. The Program offers relationship therapy to couples, trains graduate students for clinical practice in family violence, and conducts research on intimate partner violence.

Understanding women’s perceptions of risk for intimate partner violence with an intersectionality framework: The case of disabled, separated and lesbian women in Canada
(Dr. Doug Brownridge, Principal Investigator, Dr. Diane Hiebert-Murphy and Dr. Janice Ristock, Co-Investigators)

This recently completed SSHRC-funded project examined the concept of risk among three groups of women who have been identified as “at risk” for intimate partner violence: (a) women with disabilities, (b) women separating from an intimate partner, and (c) women in same sex relationships. This mixed methods study examined existing Canadian national databases on violence and interviewed 55 women who had experienced partner violence. Results found that there were different factors associated with risk for intimate partner violence for divorced and separated women. As well, women with disabilities were found to have a high risk for partner violence; characteristics related to the perpetrator were important in understanding this risk. In interviews, women identified factors that they perceived increased their risk for IPV; they identified factors related to themselves (e.g., low self-esteem, isolation, a family history of abuse), their partners (e.g., family history, mental health issues), and their situations (e.g., lack of services, stress due to disability). Further analysis revealed the limits to the category “disability” and the diversity among the women in the extent to which disability is part of their self-identity. It also identified structural elements embedded in women’s narratives of their experiences but that were not explicitly named (e.g., ableism, poverty, a lifetime of violence) and demonstrated the ways in which various identities and social locations intersect (e.g., disability, gender, and class) to create the context in which intimate partner violence occurs. Overall, this project illustrates how our understanding of risk for intimate partner violence is furthered by integrating multiple frameworks that together examine the probability of experiencing violence, risk factors associated with increased violence, women’s perceptions of risk, and the social context in which the violence occurs.

Selected Publications:

Thompson, S., Hiebert-Murphy, D., & Trute, B. (2013). Parental perceptions of family adjustment in childhood developmental disabilities. Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, 17(1), 23-36.

Fleet, C., & Hiebert-Murphy, D. (2013). Social support related to women who have remained with their partners after the physical violence has ceased: Data from a U.S. nationally representative sample. Journal of Family Violence, 28, 219-224.

Trute, B., & Hiebert-Murphy, D. (Eds.). (2013). Partnering with parents: Family-centred practice in children’s services. Toronto: University of Toronto Press

Hiebert-Murphy, D., Williams, E. A., Mills, R. S. L., Walker, J. R., Feldgaier, S., Warren, M., Freeman, W., McIntyre, M., & Cox, B. J. (2012). Listening to parents: The challenges of parenting kindergarten-aged children who are anxious. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 17, 384-399.

Hiebert-Murphy, D., Trute, B., & Wright, A. (2011). Parents’ definition of effective child disability support services: Implications for implementing family-centered practice. Journal of Family Social Work, 14, 144-158.

Hiebert-Murphy, D., Ristock, J., & Brownridge, D. A. (2011). The meaning of “risk” for intimate partner violence among women in same-sex relationships. In J. L. Ristock (Ed.), Intimate partner violence in LGBTQ lives (pp. 37-55). New York, NY: Routledge.

Wright, A., & Hiebert-Murphy, D. (2011). Family-centered child welfare practice. In K. Kufeldt & B. McKenzie (Eds.), Child Welfare: Connecting research, policy and practice (2nd ed., pp. 445-458). Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press.

Wright, A., Hiebert-Murphy, D., & Trute, B. (2010). Professionals’ perspectives on organizational factors that impact the successful implementation of family-centered practice. Journal of Family Social Work, 13, 114-130.

Hiebert-Murphy, D., & Woytkiw, L. (2010). A model for working with women dealing with child sexual abuse and addiction: The Laurel Centre. In R. Csiernik & W. S. Rowe (Eds.), Responding to the oppression of addiction: Canadian social work perspectives (2nd ed., pp. 74-87). Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press Inc.

Hiebert-Murphy, D., Trute, B., & Wright, A. (2008). Patterns of entry to community-based services for families with children with developmental disabilities: Implications for social work practice. Child and Family Social Work, 13, 423-432.

Brownridge, D. A., Hiebert-Murphy, D., Ristock, J., Chan, E. K. L., Tiwari, A., Tyler, K. A., & Santos, S.C. (2008). Violence against separated, divorced and married women in Canada, 2004. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, 49(3/4), 308-329.

Trute, B., Worthington, C., & Hiebert-Murphy, D. (2008). Grandmother support for parents of young children with disabilities: Gender patterns in parenting stress. Families Systems, & Health, 26, 135-146.

Brownridge, D., Ristock, J., & Hiebert-Murphy, D. (2008).Comparing the elevated risk for violence against women with disabilities in Canada. Medical Science Monitor, 14(5), 27-32.

Trute, B., Hiebert-Murphy, D., & Wright, A. (2008). Family-centred service coordination in childhood health and disability services: The search for meaningful service outcome measures. Child: Care, Health and Development, 34, 367-372.

Brownridge, D. A., Chan, K. L., Hiebert-Murphy, D., Ristock, J., Tiwari, A., Leung, W., & Santos, S. C. (2008). The elevated risk for non-lethal post-separation violence in Canada: A comparison of separated, divorced, and married women. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 23, 117- 135.

Hiebert-Murphy, D. (2007). Working with parents with intellectual disabilities: The experiences of caseworkers in the Supported Living Program and Children’s Special Services. Report: Partners in Parenting Committee.

Gosek, G., Wright, A., & Hiebert-Murphy, D. (2007). Supporting Aboriginal children and youth with learning and behavioural disabilities in the care of Aboriginal child welfare agencies. In I. Brown, F. Chaze, D. Fuchs, J. Lafrance, S. McKay, & S. T. Prokop (Eds.), Putting a human face on child welfare: Voices from the Prairies (pp. 147-160). Toronto: Prairie Child Welfare Consortium and Centre of Excellence for Child Welfare.

Trute, B., & Hiebert-Murphy, D. (2007). The implications of “working alliance” for the measurement and evaluation of family-centered practice in childhood disability services. Infants and Young Children, 20, 109-119.

Trute, B., & Hiebert-Murphy, D., & Levine, K. (2007). Parent appraisal of the family impact of childhood developmental disability: Times of sadness and times of joy. Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability, 32, 1-9.