Research projects

RESOLVE’s research projects help to uncover the causes of family violence and generate effective strategies for action. Each project is directed by a multi-disciplinary team comprised of academic researchers and representatives from community-based organizations.

New projects

RESOLVE is engaged in a number of new research projects in Manitoba, across the prairies and across Canada.

AVA: Alliance Against Violence & Adversity

AVA is about creating the capacity to transform population (community) health and social services to promote health and wellness of girls and women at risk/affected by violence and adversity over the life-cycle, via a collaborative, innovative, cross-sectoral/disciplinary/jurisdictional training platform.

AVA stands to help reduce family violence and improve Canada’s UNICEF rankings for girls’ health and wellness, with positive lifespan, intergenerational and population impacts.

AVA Objectives

To transform population (community) health and social services to promote health and wellness of girls and women at risk/affected by violence and adversity over the life-cycle. 

To do this, AVA will:

  1. Reduce Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), especially violence
  2. Promote life-cycle & intergenerational health and wellness
  3. Support families
  4. Develop, deliver, test and integrate innovations across sectors
  5. Reduce health, economic, and social costs

AVA Plan

  • Prevent/address impacts of violence and ACEs on girls and women’s health and wellness
  • Conduct collaborative Implementation Science (e.g. community-based) research 
  • Develop, test, implement, scale and spread evidence-based, innovative interventions
  • Undertake essential, barrier-breaking cross-disciplinary/sectoral/jurisdictional research 
  • Undertake transformative strategic planning (development/management) and evaluation to influence programs and policy from service delivery to policy and systems levels

AVA Partners

The AVA team is comprised of 203+ members and growing, including 69 academic partners and 85 community partners across Canada.

Visit the AVA Partners webpage for a comprehensive list of AVA partners by region.

Learn more about the AVA project here.

Assessing Capacity to Conduct Indigenous-Based Research and Engage with Indigenous Communities in the Prairie Provinces

The project will include a comprehensive examination of the RESOLVE Network's current research capacity for conducting community-engaged Indigenous research and the development of strategy to increase our current capacity. The project will result in the Network having greater capacity to conduct research based on stronger relationships with Indigenous partners and will embrace fundamental principles, such as good faith, reciprocity, and trust. Outcomes of the project will be shared broadly - with UM senior administration, research centres affiliated with the University of Manitoba, the seven partnering universities affiliated with the RESOLVE Network, and the four other gender-based violence research centres across Canada.

Investigators and community partners

RESOLVE Manitoba: Dr. Kendra Nixon, Director of RESOLVE, Associate Professor, Faculty of Social Work

Advisory Committee Members

  • Dr. Kendra Nixon, Faculty of Social Work, Director of RESOLVE
  • Nikki Klymochko, Faculty of Social Work, MSW-IK-Student Research Assistant
  • Logan Stalker, Faculty of Social Work, Student Research Assistant
  • Dr. Marlyn Bennett, Faculty of Social Work, MSW-IK
  • Dr. Michael Yellow Bird, Faculty of Social Work
  • Dr. Adele Perry, Centre for Human Rights Research and Faculty of Arts
  • Dr. Frank Deer, Faculty of Education
  • Elder Belinda Vandenbroeck
  • Sharon Mason, Circling Buffalo
  • Elder Wanda Murdock, Indigenous Student Centre (U of M)
  • Jeneen Dederick, Manitoba Inuit Association (MIA)
  • Jac Nobliss, Faculty of Social Work, MSW-IK

ATTACH Program: Promoting Vulnerable Children's Health at Scale

Through integrated Knowledge Translation (iKT)(Graham, Kothari et al. 2018) and Patient Engagement (PE)(CIHR/SPOR 2014, Alberta SPOR SUPPORT Unit 2018) approaches—where patients, health care professionals and health system administrators are partners—and along with our SPOR collaborators (e.g. Alberta SPOR Support Unit), we are conducting an effectiveness-implementation hybrid (EIH) Type II study of ATTACH™.

Co-primary objectives evaluate clinical intervention effectiveness and implementation strategy feasibility(Curran, Bauer et al. 2012) in naturalistic, real-world, settings, as delivered by community agencies. ATTACH™ is a promising early intervention and psychoeducational parenting program, designed for delivery at community agencies serving families of preschoolers affected by toxic stress (e.g. parental depression and addiction, family violence, poverty) (Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University 2016).

Children’s exposure to toxic stress predicts developmental problems (e.g. cognitive and motor), physical health problems (e.g. inflammatory disorders), and years of life lost to disability, resulting in health care system burden (Cuijpers, Smit et al. 2011, Brent and Silverstein 2013). According to the 2019 ‘Vibrant and Healthy Kids’ Report of the National Academies, effective early interventions focused on supporting parent-child relationships are urgently needed to reduce societal health inequities stemming from childhood stress exposures (National Academies of Sciences 2019). ATTACH™ is poised to address this need.

Investigators and community partners

RESOLVE Manitoba: Dr. Kendra Nixon, University of Manitoba, Dr. Nicole Letourneau, Kharah Ross, Kathryn Birnie, Ian Graham, Michael Kobor, Sarah Merrill, Kendra Nixon, Caroline Piotrowski, and Dr. Karen Wood

Community partners include: Calgary Urban Project Society, Discovery House, Sonshine Centre, Steinbach FRC, Alcove Addiction Recovery

COVID-19 and the Experiences of IPV Survivors and Service Providers

The COVID-19 and the Experiences of IPV Survivors and Service Providers project aims to address current and critical gaps by better understanding how pandemics, such as COVID-19, directly impact survivors of IPV and the organizations that serve them.

The objectives of the project include:

  1. Establish a foundational understanding of the nature and scope of the impact of pandemics on the social issue of IPV;
  2. Explore the impact of pandemics on IPV survivors;
  3. Identify how pandemics can put IPV survivors at additional risk;
  4. Explore the impacts of pandemics on IPV service providers;
  5. Explore how IPV-serving organizations in Manitoba responded to COVID-19, including what barriers they encountered;
  6. Develop policy and practice recommendations for policymakers and service providers. Through these objectives, the extent of the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on IPV victims/survivors and service providers will be identified.

Investigators and community partners

RESOLVE Manitoba: Dr. Kendra Nixon, University of Manitoba, Renée Hoffart, RESOLVE Project Coordinator, University of Manitoba
Brandon University: Nadine Henriquez and Nadine Smith

Community partners include: Government of Manitoba (Status of Women) Family Violence Prevention Program.

COVID-19 and the Experiences of IPV Survivors and Service Providers Project Reports

      Development of a Two-Eyed Seeing Approach to Working with Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse

      The research and development project will gather the wisdom of lived experience, knowledge keepers, academics, and local community service providers to inform the creation of a Two-Eyed Seeing trauma specific healing model for people who have experienced childhood sexual abuse. The research will also identify existing service gaps in Manitoba, highlighting the urgency around addressing this important societal issue. 

      Investigators and community partners

      RESOLVE Manitoba: Dr. Kendra Nixon (Co-Investigator), Ph.D., Associate Professor, Faculty of Social Work, U of M and Director, RESOLVE Network

      Tammy Nelson, (Primary Investigator) Ph.D. Student, Faculty of Social Work, University of Manitoba   

      Community Partner: The Laurel Centre Inc.

      Supporting the Health of Survivors of Family Violence in Family Law Proceedings

      This project is funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada and is designed to address the unique need of survivors of family violence within the family justice system. Canada’s research centres on violence against women will initiate, host and support a Community of Practice (CoP) comprised of family violence experts, survivors, family lawyers, researchers, mental health and social service professionals.

      The overarching goal of the project is to enhanced support to survivors of violence through the family law system by increasing opportunities for family law practitioners to have training, guidance and resources to support trauma-informed practice, and to improve coordination of services that will enhance the safety and well-being of all parties.

      Investigators and community partners

      RESOLVE Manitoba & Academic Partners:

      • Kendra Nixon, Director RESOLVE
      • Renée Hoffart, Research Associate RESOLVE
      • Kathleen McDonald, Research Assistant, RESOLVE
      • Lorna Turnbull, Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba

      Community Partners:

      • Ashley Stewart, Coordinator, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program, HSC
      • Matthew Maher, Researcher, Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth
      • Wayne Eisbrenner, Winnipeg Children’s Access Agency
      • Ingrid Pflug, Crown Counsel, Family Law Section, Government of Manitoba
      • Crystal Brown, Community Justice Development Coordinator, Southern Chiefs’ Organization
      • Janis Raeburn, Manager, Family Guide, Domestic Violence Specialist, Victim Services
      • Deena Brock, Provincial Coordinator, Manitoba Association of Women’s Shelters
      • Robynne Kazina, Partner and Family Law Lawyer, Taylor McCaffrey LLP
      • Paula Ediger, Women’s Relationship Counsellor, A Woman’s Place, NorWest Co-op
      • Leita Kalinowsky, Acting Executive Director, Family Resolution Service, Government of Manitoba
      • Carol Reimer, Community Resource Program Manager, IRCOM
      • Shane Wepruk, Domestic Violence Intervention Coordinator, Winnipeg Police Service
      • Sonia Grmela, Executive Director, ChezRachel
      • Jennifer Laviolette, participant with lived experience
      • Kimlee Wong, participant with lived experience
      • Masha Giller, participant with lived experience

      New Resource Available:

      Community of Practice Bulletins:

      • February 2021 | ENG 
      • January 2022 | ENG or FR

      Community of Practice Legal Bulletins:

      • Issue No. 1.1 (May 2022): Michel v. Graydon | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 1.2 (May 2022): Colucci v. Colucci | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 1.3 (May 2022): Barendregt v. Gerbil’s | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 2 (October 2022): McLellan v Birbilis | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 3 (November 2022): Compensating Victims of Domestic Violence: The Case of A v. A | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 4 (December 2022): Creating Safety in BC Courts: Key Challenges and Recommendations in English | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 5 (January 2023): Protecting a Child’s Gender Identity and Family Violence | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 6 (March 2023): A Bulletin from the Atlantic Chapter of the Family Violence | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 7 (March 2023): Family Violence and Parenting Arrangements | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 8 (March 2023): The Overlap Between Family and Criminal Law Cases: Bidgood-Lund v Marston | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 9 (March 2023): Parenting Orders and Decision-Making in Cases of Family Violence  | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 10 (May 2023): Reunification Therapy and Children’s Wishes in Cases of Family Violence  | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 11 (June  2023): Hague Convention Applications in Cases of Family Violence | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 12 (May 2023): Relocation in the Context of Family Violence | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 13 (September 2023): Ontario Court of Appeal Rejects a New Tort of Family Violence | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 14 (October 2023): A Bulletin from the Atlantic Chapter of the Family Violence | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 15 (November 2023): Updates of Quebec Case Law in Family Law | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 16 (November 2023): Parental time and Family Law Jurisprudence | ENG or FR

      Community of Practice Research Briefs:

      • Issue No. 1: Supporting the health of survivors of family violence in family law proceedings | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 2:  Why Can’t Everyone Just Get Along?: How BC’s family law system puts survivors in danger  | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 3: Coercive Control and Family Law | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 4: A Review of the Recent Recommendations in Québec | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 5: The 2021 Divorce Act: Using Statutory  Interpretation Principles to Support Substantive Equality for Women and Children in Family Violence Cases | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 6: COVID-19, the Shadow Pandemic, and Access to Justice for Survivors of Domestic Violence Webinar | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 7: Trauma-Informed Approaches to Family Violence in Family Law | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 8: Engaging Fathers Who Commit Family Violence: Issues and Challenges for Family Courts | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 9: Implementing Children’s Participation Rights in All Family Court Proceedings | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 10:  Contributing to the Health and Safety of Family Violence Survivors: Reducing the Risks of Secondary Victimization | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 11: Supporting Survivors through Court Reform: Assessing the Role of Integrated and Specialized Courts for Family Law in British Columbia | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 12: Survivors’ Views of Family Courts: Findings from the Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative with Vulnerable Populations (CDHPIVP) | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 13: Family Law Mediation in Family Violence Cases: Basics & Best Practices | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 14: Tech-Facilitated Violence: An Introduction | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 15: When the Family Court Becomes the Continuation of Family Violence After Separation: Understanding Litigation Abuse | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 16: The Co-Occurrence of Parental Alienation Claims and Intimate Partner Violence in Family Court: Theory and Practice | ENG or FR
      • Issue No.17: Addressing Poverty and Family Violence in Family Law Proceedings  | ENG or FR
      • Issue No.18: Ethical Obligations of Family Law Practitioners  | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 19: Gender-Based Violence and Access to Justice for International Students at Canadian Post-Secondary Institutions  | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 20: Responding to Family Violence in Family Court- Challenges & Recommendations | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 21: Fathering and Fathers’ Rights Groups - The Canadian landscape | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 22: How communities of practice support and promote change | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 23: Family violence: clinical collaboration and community of practice | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 24: Treating Children as Full Rights Bearers: Independent Legal Representation for Children in Family Violence and/or Resist-Refuse Contact Cases | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 25: Failure to Protect: Social & Institutional Factors That Prevent Access to Justice in Family Violence/Family Law Cases  | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 26: Traumatic Brain Injury and Intimate Partner Violence: Challenges for Survivors Involved in the Family Court System | ENG or FR
      • Issue No. 27: Sober Second Thoughts About the Benefits and Limitations of Reunification Therapy | ENG or FR

      Past Community of Practice Webinars

      Enhancing System Responses to Survivors & Perpetrators of Strangulation in IPV (November 23, 2023)

      Hosted by: RESOLVE

      Presenters: Dr. Amanda McCormick

      Strangulation by an intimate partner is one of the strongest risk factors of future lethality. However, many survivors of strangulation have no visible injuries, leading to challenges in detection, intervention, and support by criminal justice, community, and health care service providers. Dr. McCormick will discuss current gaps in awareness and practice and provide strategies to enhance system responses.

      Keira’s Legacy of Hope Part 2: Enhancing Judicial Education on Family Violence (October 5, 2023)

      Hosted by: Learning Network & Knowledge Hub

      Presenters: Judge Ramona A. Gonzalez

      This Part 2 discussion provides some context on the appointment process and education of judges in Canada as well as their independence from government. The training relevant to Keira’s Law will be undertaken through the leadership of the National Judicial Institute and their role in providing education is examined. The panelists also provide perspective and expertise given their roles in presenting extensive judicial education programs as well as being a consumer of these programs.

      Severe Separation Conflicts or Domestic Violence : How to See Things (a little) More Clearly ? (October 3, 2023)

      Hosted by: Western University Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children

      Presenters: Dr. Elisabeth Godbout & Dr. Catherine Turbide

      Keira’s Legacy of Hope: Judicial Training on Family Violence (July 26, 2023)

      Hosted by: Learning Network & Knowledge Hub

      Presenters: Jennifer Kagan, Pamela Cross, and Archana Medhekar

      In this Special Event, panelists discuss the necessity of Keira’s Law given the gap in judicial education and knowledge about family violence and coercive control. Panelists also share more about what the law seeks to do and current realities of judge training in Canada. Finally, panelists share their hopes and wishes for the enactment of the law with the goal to protect more children in the future.

      Changing Professional Obligations for Family Law Lawyers Under the New Provisions of the Divorce Act (July 20, 2023)

      Hosted by: Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research

      Presenters: Shelley Hounsell-Gray & Dr. IIana Dodie Luther

      Family Law, Family Violence and Restorative Justice (June 28, 2023)

      Hosted by: RESOLVE

      Presenters: Lisa Teryl & Tod Augusta Scott

      In a country plagued by rising instances of family violence and contentious divorces, Lisa Teryl, a seasoned senior lawyer, and Tod Augusta Scott, a renowned advocate in family violence and trauma, have come together to introduce an innovative approach to family law. Their brainchild, Divorce Legal Communication Services, aims to put an end to abuse, foster collaboration, and streamline the divorce process through adopting a restorative approach.

      Family Law and Domestic Violence: the Ethical Obligations of Judicial Actors (April 26, 2023)

      Hosted by: RAIV

      Presenter: Daphnée B. Ménard

      Traumatic Brain Injury and Intimate Partner Violence: Challenges for Survivors Involved in the Family Court System (April 3, 2023)

      Hosted by: RESOLVE

      Presenters: Dr. Michael Ellis & Ashley Stewart

      Survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV) commonly sustain physical injuries to the head, neck, and face. As a result of increased trauma to these areas, survivors are at a greater risk of experiencing brain injuries; specifically traumatic brain injury (TBI), which is caused by external force to the head, neck, or face, and hypoxic-ischemic brain injury (HIBI), which is caused by non-fatal strangulation. These injuries cause damage to the brain and disrupt its normal functioning, resulting in a range of physical, emotional, and cognitive difficulties. Because of these difficulties, survivors impacted by brain injuries can face challenges when accessing, navigating, and participating in the family court system. For instance, survivors suffering from unrecognized or undiagnosed brain injuries can exhibit behaviors in family court that undermine their credibility. If a brain injury is known, it can also be weaponized against survivors during custody and access proceedings to paint them as an unfit parent. This webinar focused on the intersection of IPV and brain injury, and the subsequent challenges these injuries present for survivors in the family court system including issues surrounding participation in the court process, establishing causal evidence of IPV-related brain injury, and the absence of trauma-informed legal practices.

      Substance Use Coercion and IPV Survivors in Family Court (February 8, 2023)

      Hosted by: RESOLVE

      Presenters: Dr. Carole Warshaw, Breena Murray, & Colleen Allan

      Many survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV) experience substance use coercion, which occurs when abusers attempt to control survivors through tactics related to substance use. Common tactics include forcing survivors to use substances, preventing survivors from accessing treatment programs, and purposefully sabotaging the recovery process. This webinar provides an overview on the issue of substance use coercion and its impact on survivors of IPV. It also discusses the intersection of substance use coercion and the family court system for survivors of IPV, including the prevalence of the issue amongst litigants in both the Canadian and American family court systems, how family court personnel can best address the issue, and promising practices for supporting survivors impacted by the issue in the family court system.   

      Gender-based Violence in Rural and Remote Settings in Ontario and British Columbia: Experiences, Challenges and Services Available for Women (January 23, 2023)

      Hosted by: The FREDA Centre for Research on Violence Against Women and Children

      Presenters: Dr. Danielle Bader & Dr. Jacqueline Holler

      This webinar explores gender-based violence in rural and remote settings in Ontario and British Columbia.

      The Journey Project: Providing Trauma-Informed Legal Support to Survivors (November 30, 2022)

      Hosted by: Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research

      Presenter: Emma Duke

      Recognizing Litigation Abuse as a Form of Family Violence: Understanding the Concept and the Potential Harm (September 27, 2022)

      Hosted by: Western University Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children

      Presenters: Dr. Ellen R. Gutowski, Justice Sirivar, Dr. Nicholas (Nick) Bala, Jared Hydamaka

      Litigation abuse often extends the coercive and controlling behaviour used during the relationship into the family court process. Using litigation tactics, such as making or threatening to make meritless claims; introducing false or irrelevant evidence; and causing unnecessary delays in the court proceedings, the abuser causes significant psychological and financial harm to the targeted parent and to their children.

      This webinar explores common litigation abuse tactics and their consequences to survivors and their children.

      Fleeing Family Violence: Challenges for Survivors Living in Rural, Remote & First Nation Communities (September 14, 2022) 

      Hosted by: Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research

      Presenters: Christa Matthews, Dr. Mayme Lefurgey, Dr. Cathy Holtmann & Dr. Angela Wisniewski

      The Assessment of the Risk of Spousal Homicide (March 28, 2022) 

      Hosted by: Western University Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children

      Presenters: Christine Drouin

      Assessing the risk of homicide is the first step in preventing spousal homicide. The tool entitled Conjugal Homicide Risk Assessment, developed with the Association à coeur d’homme, analyzes the risk of a situation based on three components, namely the identification of risk factors, precipitating events, and protective factors. By collecting the information gathered on these three elements, a complete picture of the person’s situation with respect to the risk of homicide can be drawn. Another key component in the risk analysis is the presence of a homicide scenario. This approach allows for better planning of the intervention strategies required to manage the risk as well as the follow-up that will be offered to the person, and thus ensure the safety of the victim.

      The Nexus of Poverty and Domestic Violence in Family Law (March 16, 2022)

      Hosted by: Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research

      Presenters: Madame Justice Boudreau-Dumas, Chantal Landry & Lindsay Manuel

      The Co-Occurrence of Parental Alienation Claims & Intimate Partner Violence (March 2022)

      Hosted by: RESOLVE

      Presenters: Dr. Peter Jaffe, Justice Mirwaldt, and Robynne Kazina

      The past decade has seen an unprecedented increase in parenting disputes in family court. On one hand, there is a growing recognition of family violence as a gender-based crime and a legislated factor for judges to consider in parenting decisions. On the other hand, the concept of alienation has been increasingly misused to blame protective parents and their children's resistance or reluctance to have parenting time with perpetrators of family violence. Some of these cases represent litigation abuse as an extension of coercive control in the intimate partner relationship. The presentation will outline the controversaries in the field and the inappropriate use of alienation. The multiple factors that may lie behind a child refusing or resisting parenting will be discussed as well as the dilemmas for the family justice system to find differentiated parenting plans in these cases.

      Justice Mirwaldt will discuss the many reforms that the Court of Queen’s Bench has made in the past three years to address systemic court delays that had created a barrier to justice for Manitoba families. Under the new court rules family violence is addressed at the outset of a family case through a system of robust triage conferencing and case management. Timely and meaningful interactions with a family court judge under a one-judge model has led to early resolution of the majority of the court’s cases, even those involving allegations of parental alienation and family violence.

      Intersecting Inequities in Family Court: A Trauma-Informed Critique (January 2022)

      Hosted by: Western University Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children

      Presenters: Archana Medhekar, Archana Medhekar Law, Ontario, Kamaljit Kaur Lehal, Lehal Law, British Columbia, & Jael Duarte, LA Henry Law, New Brunswick 

      Canada’s family courts are confronted with cases involving complex cultural contexts and challenging family dynamics.  The family justice system often enters the realm of resolving Canada's multicultural puzzle and is tasked with making decisions regarding complex overlapping issues and facts within a legislative framework. This webinar will examine the relationship between the competing interests within the family court system as there continues to be the need for systemic change of the family dispute resolution system that designs justice for sustainable family conflict resolution.

      Implementing Children’s Rights in All Family Court Cases (November 25, 2021)

      Hosted by: The FREDA Centre for Research on Violence Against Women and Children

      Presenters: The Honourable Donna J. Martinson, Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Retired, The Honourable Judge Rose Raven, Senior judge of the BC Provincial Court, Phyllis Kenney, Q.C., Lauren Irvine, & Dr. Margaret Jackson, Professor Emerita and Director of the FREDA Centre at SFU

      The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child states that the “right of all children [under 18] to be heard and taken seriously constitutes one of the fundamental values of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child”. Obtaining children’s views and preferences in court processes is now common in many cases, but the right to do so can be marginalized for children in family violence and or parental alienation cases. In addition, more attention has been paid to hearing children’s voices generally, than it has to ensuring that those views are taken seriously and given due weight in accordance with the children’s ages and maturity. This webinar will consider the issue of how children’s rights in all family law court proceedings can be implemented effectively, with the involvement of independent legal representation for children, using the Eight Child Rights Safeguards/Guarantees which the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child states are necessary to do so.

      Tech-Facilitated Violence: An Introduction (November 24, 2021)

      Hosted by: RESOLVE

      Presenters: Jane Bailey of the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, and Suzie Dunn of Dalhousie University’s Schulich School of Law

      Technology is increasingly used by abusers to perpetrate violence, whether through unsecured devices or by making online spaces unsafe. This may come in the form of online stalking, the non-consensual distribution of intimate images, doxing, or threats, just to name a few. Technology-facilitated violence (TFV) can happen in the context of romantic relationships, but is also perpetrated by strangers or online trolls. But what do we mean by doxing and what is an online troll? 

      This presentation provides information on what “technology-facilitated violence” is and helps explain some of the terminology used to describe this kind of violence. Professors Jane Bailey of the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, and Suzie Dunn of Dalhousie University’s Schulich School of Law discuss the various types of TFV, why it is a growing societal problem, and provide helpful resources and safety tips. They also talk about social media companies’ role in TFV and how ending TFV involves a wide variety of responses from individuals, social media companies and governments. 

      Self-Represented Litigants and Family Violence: Making a Difficult Experience Even Worse (June 15, 2021)

      Hosted by: Western University Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children

      Presenters: Julie Macfarlane, The Honourable Mary Jo Nolan, The Honourable Lynda C. Templeton, Malcolm Bennett, and Julie Lee

      Family court is filled with self-represented litigants – up to 50% across Canada and closer to 80% in urban centres. Those SRLs include individuals asking for restraining orders (there is no disaggregated data in Ontario) as well as those experiencing family violence seeking custody, access, child support etc.  US research (Kercin, 2015) shows that the outcomes for this second group are significantly worse for those without representation, which matches NSRLP data on systemically less favourable outcomes for SRLs than represented litigants. While Canadian data suggests similar levels of self-representation among men and women, NSRLP suggests that the way that courts treat women is often markedly different and subject to judicial stereotypes (NSRLP, 2018). We also see some examples of process abuse by controlling male partners (for example, continual reopening of child support and access) which suggests a possible relationship with family violence.

      The many difficulties of self-representation (including stereotyping and stigmatizing by lawyers and judges) are further exacerbated by the personal experiences of those living with family violence, who often feel further traumatized by their court experience. The level of understanding among members of the Bench of the systemic issues facing those living with family violence and/or in an ongoing controlling relationship appears to remain low. Recent Australian research on family violence and self-represented litigants (Mangman et al 2020) makes a number of recommendations for further assistance for and protection of SRLs experiencing intimate partner violence including a ban on cross-exam by an alleged perpetrator of a victim (in Canada this only applies to those under 18), enhanced court safety measures, and further calls for enhanced training for judges and lawyers.

      Finally, even with legal representation there are innumerable issues for the survivors of family violence in undertaking both civil and criminal proceedings and the trauma that is raised. “Going Public: A Survivors Journey from Grioef to Acyion” (Macfarlane, 2020) sets out a series of recommendations for addressing the worst of these systemic problems inside the legal system.

      The Pandemic and Family Justice: Unequal Outcomes and Lack of Access to Justice (April 29, 2021)

      Hosted by: Western University Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children

      Presenters: Claire Houston, Rachel Birnbaum and Nicholas Bala

      This webinar shared developing knowledge from a research project examining the reduction in access to Ontario’s family justice system due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings from a survey of over 100 family justice professionals in Ontario highlight how the pandemic has affected families involved in the system. Certain groups including high conflict families, self-representing litigants, victims of intimate partner violence, children experiencing abuse and neglect, and families involved in the child welfare system have been disproportionately impacted by the reduction in family court access and related services since the onset of the pandemic. Innovative responses by family court and family justice professionals were discussed, along with recommendations for how these practices can be modified or adopted to better serve families involved in the family justice system. 

      Healing Trauma: Gender, Trauma, and Paths of Healing in Family Law Disputes (March 31, 2021)

      Hosted by: Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research

      Presenters: Jenn Gorham, and Leland Maerz

      Many family law lawyers have clients suffering from trauma due to domestic violence. The family court system often has expectations of witnesses that adversely affects not only the credibility of the trauma victim, but also their overall well-being during trial.

      The Impact of COVID-19 on Ontario’s Court Related Services for Survivors of Family Violence (March 9, 2021)

      Hosted by: Western University Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children

      Presenters: Amanda Bruyns, Tim Kelly, Julie Lee, Janet Mosher, and AnnaLise Trudell

      This webinar reviewed the impact of the pandemic in Ontario on survivors of family violence with a focus on access to specialized services. The presenters discussed the increase in violence and vulnerability of survivors as well as the challenges in accessing needed services. The pandemic has created significant barriers as well as some innovative service approaches. In particular, the webinar addressed services that often required as a part of family court proceedings such as supervised access, batterer intervention and parenting programs (PAR and Caring Dads), legal advice, counselling, and housing. 

      COVID-19, the Shadow Pandemic, and Access to Justice for Survivors of Domestic Violence (March 6, 2021)

      Hosted by: RESOLVE Manitoba

      Presenters: Jennifer Koshan, Janet Mosher, Wanda Wiegers, Paula Ediger, and Zahra Hosseini

      In this past webinar presenters, Jennifer Koshan, Janet Mosher, and Wanda Wiegers shared their research providing a preliminary assessment of the extent to which Canada’s early responses to the COVID-19 pandemic prioritized the safety of women and children. Following Jennifer Koshan, Janet Mosher, and Wanda Wiegers presentation, Paula Ediger and Zahra Hosseini discussed the risks and safety concerns that came with COVID-19 protocols and what families had been experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

      Why Can’t Everyone Just Get Along? How BC’s Family Law System Puts Survivors in Danger (March 4, 2021)

      Hosted by: The FREDA Centre for Research on Violence Against Women and Children

      Presenter: Haley Hrymak | Moderator: Margaret Jackson

      The focus of this webinar was on Rise’s research results regarding the impacts the family court system had on survivors, particularly to their health. Further, this webinar focused on the recommendations on how we can improve the court system in BC, starting with mandatory family violence training for lawyers, judges and police, and the creation of a specialized family court designed to address the needs of people attending court with a family law matter, most importantly their own safety and well-being.

      Bridging the Gap Between the Needs of Survivors of Family Violence and the Realities of Family Court (December 15, 2021)

      Hosted by: Western University Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children

      Presenters: Pamela Cross and Dr. Linda Baker

      This webinar addressed the challenges survivors of family violence face when seeking safety and support in the family court, barriers survivors face due to the nature of trauma they have suffered and the many demands of the adversarial system from a legal and psychological perspective, how court-related professionals and the system can become trauma informed and promising practices.

      Ongoing projects

      RESOLVE’s ongoing research projects include:

      In Search of Promising Practices: Canadian Child Protection Responses to Cases of Intimate Partner Violence

      The aim of the project is to develop a better understanding of new policies and practices that have been implemented by Canadian Child Protective Services authorities in response to children exposed to violence in the home, as well as to identify policy and practice gaps.

      Investigators and Community Partners

      Investigators: Dr. Kendra Nixon, Dr. Marlyn Bennett, Dr. Ramona Alaggia, Dr. Tara Black, Dr. Lise Milne, and Dr. Angelique Jenney

      Funder: SSHRC

      Access the project webpage here

      Winnipeg Family Violence Court Data Collection Project

      The project aims to collect data for the Winnipeg Family Violence Court Project.

      Investigators and Community Partners

      Investigators: Dr. E. Jane Ursel, Jessica Gomez, Richelle Ready and Renée Hoffart

      Partners: Minister of Justice

      Funder: Manitoba Justice

      Completed projects

      RESOLVE’s completed projects generated effective strategies for action, through the examination of the experiences of victims and survivors of family and intimate partner violence. The completed projects each produced results which are useful in policy and practice development as well as useful in the academic setting.


      Year Project Budget

      Caught in the Middle: Children’s Involvement in the Court Process as it Relates to Intimate Partner Violence


      Examining the Nature & Context of Intimate Partner Violence in 2SLGBTQ+ Communities


      Responding to Women Who Experience Intimate Partner Violence in Rural Municipalities Across the Prairies




      Year Project Budget
      2018 Winnipeg Family Violence Court $20,000
      2018 Building Relationships $245,833
      2017-2022 Looking After Each Other: A Dignity Promotion Project $300,000
      2017 Winnipeg Family Violence Court $20,000

      The Multi-Faces of IPV Across the Prairies: Men as Victims

      The Multi-Faces of IPV Across the Prairies: Men as Victims Final Report

      The Multi-Faces of IPV Across the Prairies: Men as Victims Environmental Scan

      The Multi-Faces of IPV Across the Prairies: Men as Victims Summary Report

      2016-2021 Manitoba Justice Wellness Program Evaluation $49,700
      2016-2020 In Search of Promising Practices: Canadian Child Protection Responses to Cases of Intimate Partner Violence $155,193
      2016 Choose 2 Change $9,785
      2016 Winnipeg Family Violence Court $45,000
      2016 Tracking Sexual Assault Reports $56,000

      Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative for Vulnerable Populations

      Achako nastakonikewin (Reconnecting our Spirits) Presentation Slides

      KA PASPICIK KITIMAHITOWIN WIKIWAK  (Survivors of Domestic Violence)

      2015 Winnipeg Family Violence Court $20,000
      2015 Observatory Research $11,500
      2015 Domestic Violence in the Prairie Province’s Jewish Community $9,022
      2014 Observatory Research $35,500
      2014 Winnipeg Family Violence Court - Justice $20,000
      2014 Winnipeg Family Violence Court - Winnipeg Foundation $25,000
      2014 Framework for Strengthening Families - WISH $12,240
      2014 Report on Trauma Forum - Klinic $6,750
      2013 Developing Protocols and Guidelines for Programming at Wahbung Abinoonjiiag $5,000
      2013 Evaluating Programming Feedback: Analysis of Existing Data $6,700
      2013 Evaluating a Framework for a Childhood Sexual Abuse Program for Men $7,200
      2013 Winnipeg Family Violence Court $20,000
      2013 Development of a Medicine Wheel Practice Framework for Training and Education $8,000
      2012-2018 Experiences of Aboriginal Foster Parents with Children in the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum $276,715
      2012 Winnipeg Family Violence Court $20,000
      2012 Mothering, Guiding and Responding to Children $2,000
      2012 Evaluation of Ndinawe Child and Youth Care Certificate Program $12,700
      2012 Developing an Online Trauma Informed Training Workshop: Formative Evaluation $29,920
      2011-2016 Rural and Northern Community Response to Intimate Partner Violence - SSHRC CURA $225,421
      2011 Sexual Exploitation Among Female Youth in Northern Manitoba: An Exploratory Study $4,350
      2011 TRC - Phase 2 $30,000
      2011 Positive Discipline $7,830
      2011 First Steps in Program Model Development: The Impact of Child Sexual Abuse on Males $7,620



      Year Project Budget
      2010 TRC - Phase 1 - TRC & CAHRD $67,000
      2010 Women Helping Women $13,985
      2010 Obtaining Permanent Legal Council $2,000
      2009-2011 Mothering in the Context of Domestic Violence in Canada and the United Kingdom $2,000
      2009 Summary report for the trauma recovery centre planning day $1,000
      2009 Voices of the Women of WISH: Analysis of Client Feedback $8,585
      2009 Consideration of Neuropsychological Impacts of Trauma in Family Violence Programming: Phase 1 $9,370
      2009 An Evaluation of Client Satisfaction with Domestic Violence Group Programming at the First Nations Healing Centre $8,272
      2009 Healing Journey Cost Analysis Component:  
      2009 Elder Abuse - Manitoba Government $20,000
      2008-2011 Max Bell Foundation - An Evaluation of the Manitoba Front End Project $192,780
      2008-2009 Outcome Evaluation of the New Realities Project at Wolseley Family Place - Winnipeg Foundation $34,467
      2008-2009 Winnipeg Law Foundation - Winnipeg Family Violence Court Project $20,000
      2008 Canadian Observatory on the Justice System's Response to Intimate Partner Violence $34,265
      2008 Observatory Post Doc Contribution $31,500
      2008 PAF C.A.R.E. Grant Longitudinal $7,500
      2008 Winnipeg Family Violence Court - Manitoba Justice $20,000
      2008 Establishing A System of Program Impact Assessment - PAF C.A.R.E $8,400
      2008 Development of a Men's Family Violence Programming Guide-Violence Workers Association of MB $9,050
      2008 Justice Canada Bail Review Study - Justice Canada $17,700
      2008 Identifying Best Practices to Safely House Abused and Homeless Women-Homeless Secretariat $5,000
      2008 Child Abuse Archive - The Winnipeg Foundation $10,000
      2008 Cost Benefit Study Healing Journey Project; PAF C.A.R.E. $7,500 & SSHRC $10,000 $17,500
      2008 Winnipeg Family Violence Court - Manitoba Law Foundation $20,000
      2008 Client Satisfaction with the Winnipeg Children's Access Assistance Centre - PAF C.A.R.E. $7,000
      2008 Winnipeg Family Violence Court Project; Manitoba Department of Justice $200,000
      2008 Observatory Post Doc Contribution $315,000
      2007-2010 Experiences of Violence in the Lives of Girls $61,110
      2007 Summary Report for the Forum on Trauma Recovery $5,050
      2007 Canadian Observatory on the Justice System's Response to Intimate Partner Violence $25,000
      2006-2008 A Healing Journey: Extending the Voice of Women Funded by PAF C.A.R.E $15,000
      2006-2008 Evaluation of TERF Adult and Youth Programs $18,390
      2006-2007 Phase 2 - Intersecting Sites of Violence in the Lives of Girls $48,173
      2006-2007 Aboriginal Research Interns - C.A.H.R.D. & University of Manitoba $8,900
      2006-2007 Winnipeg Foundation - Family Violence Court $15,000
      2006-2007 Evaluation of the New Realities Project at Wolseley Family Place $14,852
      2006-2007 Legislation and Service Provision Regarding Elder Abuse and/or Neglect in Manitoba $30,000
      2006 Preparation of the Proposal for a Quantitative Study of Violence in the Lives of Girls $10,000
      2005-2007 Manitoba Justice - Family Violence Court $17,700
      2005-2007 Guidelines & Recommendations Manual for Children's Family Violence Programming $14,750
      2005-2006 Winnipeg Foundation - Family Violence Court $20,000
      2005 Alternates Programming Men Charged with Domestic Violence $1,500
      2005 National Crime Prevention - Research Day 2005 $10,000
      2004-2009 CURA - Longitudinal $1,000,000
      2004-2007 Access to Protection Orders $70,000
      2004-2005 Undergraduate Student Internship $8,120
      2004-2005 Aboriginal Research Interns - C.A.H.R.D. $18,649
      2004-2005 Intersecting Sites $34,440
      2004 Program Evaluation Schedules for the Evolve Men's, Women's & Parenting Programs $2,400
      2003-2004 CURA - Longitudinal PROPOSAL $18,000
      2003-2004 North End Women's Centre $5,150
      2003-2004 Osborne House/IWCS $66,500
      2002-2005 Men's Healing Program $15,200
      2002-2005 Aboriginal Specific Programming for Women Dealing with Anger & Violence $29,700
      2002 Child Abuse Archive $13,500
      2001-2004 Ndaawin $207,525
      2001-2003 Family Violence Intervention Team $31,417
      2001-2002 Winnipeg Police Professional Development Day $18,500
      2001-2002 Evaluation of the Brandon Second Stage Housing Facility $3,535
      2001-2002 Evaluation of the Flin Flon Women's Resource Centre & Safe Home $5,230
      2001-2002 Evaluation of the Programs for Laurel Centre $9,000
      2001-2002 Environmental Scan of Family Violence Programming in Canada $8,385
      2001 Peace Bond $5,658
        a) Care Grant $7,500
        b) SSHRC Standard Grant $41,620



      Year Project Budget


      CURA - Evaluating the Justice & Community Response to Family Violence in the Prairie Provinces $260,000
      2000-2001 Aboriginal Specific Family Violence Program for Stony Mountain Project $5,500
      2000 Impact on Aboriginal People of Criminal Justice Intervention in Domestic Violence Incidents $7,600
      1999-2001 Evaluation of the Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Family Violence Program Stony Mountain Project $3,500
      1999-2001 Evaluation of the Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Family Violence Program Stony Mountain Project $5,384
      1999-2000 Development of Evaluation Tools for Visiting/Access Centres $4,400
      1999-2000 Evaluation for L'Entre Temps Des Fanco-Manitobaines Inc. $2,850
      1999-2000 Crime Prevention Centre - Networking Project $300,000
      1999 Aboriginal Men's Family Violence Healing Centre $3,268
      1999 Protect Orders Education Project $12,030
      1999 First Nations Shelter Directors Conference $10,432
      1998-2003 Girls & Youth Involved in Prostitution Phase 1-3 $245,000
      1998-2001 Winnipeg Family Violence Court $45,000
      1998-2000 Evaluation of Alpha House Programs $2,200
      1998 Health Care Professionals and Training Resources on the Abuse of Seniors $20,325
      1997-2000 Canadian Forces Response to Woman Abuse $29,690
      1997-1998 Development of Evaluation Forms for Family Dispute Services of Manitoba $1,105
      1997 Identification of Early Trauma in Women Age 55+ $500
      1997 File Review of Women's Advocacy Program $1,332
      1997 Failure to Function in the Elderly: Sexual Abuse and Other Correlates $2,000
      1997 CHOICES Youth Program - An Evaluation of the CHOICES Youth Program $2,000
      1996-1999 Healthy Relationships Dating Violence Prevention Program $60,000
      1996-1999 The Development of Conflict Coping Skills and Children's Adjustments $67,000
      1996-1997 Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Family Violence Program Stony Mountain Project $22,273
      1996-1997 Public Attitudes to Violence in the Media and Its Impact on Children $4,900
      1995-1998 Court Processing of Adult Complainants of Childhood Sexual Abuse $97,000
      1994-1997 Recidivism Rates Among Wife Abuse Offenders $15,000


      Accessibility of IPV-related services in the prairies story map

      Carolynne Boivin scholarship for research in family or gender-based violence

      Carolynne Boivin scholarship for research in family or gender-based violence information

      About the Carolynne Boivin scholarship for research in family or gender-based violence

      Colleagues and board members of the Research and Education for Solutions to Violence and Abuse (RESOLVE) Research Network have acknowledged Carolynne Boivin's contribution to the development of their network through the establishment of a fund at the University of Manitoba. Each year, the available annual income from the fund will be used to offer one or more scholarships valued at a minimum of $4,000 each to graduate students who:

      1. are enrolled full-time in the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the University of Manitoba;
      2. have achieved a minimum grade point average of 3.0 based on the last 60 credit hours (or equivalent) of study; and
      3. are conducting research in the area of family or gender-based violence.

      In any given year, at least one of the scholarships will be awarded with first preference going to a student who has self-declared as a First Nations, Métis, or Inuit from Canada, and second preference to a student who is conducting Indigenous-focused research.

      The competition for the scholarships will be advertised each year by RESOLVE, and applicants will be required to submit a brief description (maximum 500 words) of their graduate research.

      The selection committee will have the discretion to determine the number and value of awards offered each year in accordance with the terms above. The Vice-Provost (Graduate Education) and Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies (or designate) will ask the Director of RESOLVE Manitoba to name the selection committee for this award.

      This agreement may be amended by the mutual consent of the donor (or designate) and the University of Manitoba. All such amendments shall be in writing. In the absence of the donor (or designate), and providing all reasonable efforts have been made to consult, the Board of Governors of the University of Manitoba has the right to modify the terms of this award if, because of changed conditions, it becomes necessary to do so. Such modification shall conform as closely as possible to the expressed intention of the donor in establishing the award.

      *Now accepting applications for the 2023 Fall Carolynne Boivin Scholarship for Research on Family and Gender-Based Violence intake. Deadline to submit is Friday, January 12, 2024.

      Download the application form here

      Carolynne Boivin Scholarship for Research in Family or Gender-Based Violence Impact Report

      The Carolynne Boivin Scholarship for Research in Family or Gender-Based Violence Impact Report highlights past scholarship recipients whose research has focused on addressing family or gender-based violence and illustrates the true impact the scholarship has had on each recipient personally as well as academically. Download the Impact Report here.

      Recipients of the Carolynne Boivin scholarship for research in family or gender-based violence 2023

      Mimi Shamin Brown (Faculty of Social Work)

      Thesis Research: Understanding the wellness and health of lived experience (WHOLE) Staff: What works for what hurts and what’s missing?

      Research Summary: Understanding the wellness and health of lived experience (WHOLE) Staff: What works for what hurts and what’s missing? will respond to the gaps in Canadian research on lived experience staff in the child sexual abuse (CSA) sector. Lived experience staff with a history of CSA experience increased vulnerability to indirect trauma. A trauma-informed approach to improving organizational services and support for staff is critical to supporting their wellness and, in turn, improving staff retention and relational continuity between staff and client (Blanch et al., 2012; Goodwin & Patton, 2009; Frey et al., 2017; Phillips et al., 2015; Pirelli et al. 2020; Sprang et al., 2018).  Adopting a Two-Eyed Seeing approach that combines a Mino-pimatisiwin paradigm with a dual feminist lens informed by Standpoint Feminist Theory and Indigenous Feminist Theory, this study will be a mixed qualitative approach that incorporates an Indigenous methodology based upon Minopimatsiwin epistemology and non-Indigenous approaches to analysis.  

      The study aims to answer three overarching questions, 1) "What are the experiences of health and wellness for lived experience leaders?"; 2) “What are the gaps in wellness supports for lived experience staff in the CSA sector?”; and 3) “What personal and professional strategies and resources are effective in supporting the wellness of lived experience staff?” Mimi will explore how wellness is defined, the resources and strategies available to nurture and maintain lived experience leaders’ wellness and the resources that are still needed with the objective of developing an understanding of effective health and wellness strategies and resources that will ensure that lived experience staff in the CSA sector are supported in their work and ongoing recovery. 

      This qualitative research will be centred on lived experience voices. Findings and recommendations can be used to guide lived experience staff in managing their own wellness practices as well as support institutions, funders, and other stakeholders in addressing the personal and professional wellness of lived experience staff through greater insight and awareness related to the funding, programming, and organizational support needed to responsibly engage lived experience staff.

      Charlene Hallett (Community Health Sciences)

      Thesis Research: Rooted in culture: an evaluation of the process to adapt evidence-based programs for Indigenous mothers & children who have experienced intimate partner violence in Canada

      Research Summary: This qualitative study will evaluate how adapting a new-to-Canada, pilot intervention program for Indigenous moms and their children impacted by intimate partner violence (IPV) went for those who took part in its adaptation process. Capturing these perspectives from the original creator of the intervention, the researchers involved, and the Elder and staff at the urban crisis shelter hosting the intervention offers 1) a better understanding of how they felt through the process, 2) an opportunity to discuss any successes and challenges they would like to highlight, and 3) the chance to speak to any lasting lessons they learned along the way. It honours their teachings and voices by allowing other communities, organizations, agencies, or researchers - who might want to duplicate (in whole or in part) these or other intervention programs in the future to learn from this group’s adaptation journey and to make changes as needed. Leaving a map of how it can be done is one way research becomes reciprocal with potential benefits for generations to come. 

      Recipients of the Carolynne Boivin scholarship for research in family or gender-based violence 2022

      Tammy Nelson (Faculty of Social Work)

      Thesis Research: West Standing Bear: Two-Eyed Seeing Approach to Working with Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse 

      Research Summary: Utilizing Indigenous research methodologies, the aim of this research will gather the knowledge and wisdom from persons with lived experience, knowledge keepers, academics, and local community organizations to inform the creation of a Two-Eyed Seeing healing model for therapeutic interventions for adults who experienced childhood sexual abuse. The model developed will replace the current clinical model at The Heartwood Healing Centre formerly known as The Laurel Centre located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to ensure trauma-focused services are accessible to all survivors/victims who have experienced childhood sexual abuse. This model will be valuable for community-based organizations across Manitoba with a specific focus on non-Indigenous organizations that provide services to Indigenous Peoples that align with Indigenous world views and traditional knowledge.  

      This project will include Indigenous research methodologies to include Two-Eyed Seeing principles that are in line with OCAP, Indigenous practices with research being ceremony and the inclusion of Western traditions connected to community-based participatory action research that aims to address the effects of colonialism worldwide. Using a Two-Eyed Seeing methodology acknowledges Western knowledge systems having dominance over Indigenous people. By incorporating this methodology, it aims to prioritize Indigenous pedagogy with a particular focus on decolonizing programming and service deliverables that directly affect Indigenous peoples. 

      Leah McDonell (Faculty of Peace and Conflict Studies)

      Thesis Research: A WAY OUT: Human Trafficking of Inuit Women and Girls

      Research Summary: Human trafficking is a manifestation of gender-based violence and a global pandemic that Canada is not exempt from. The severe and devastating issues resulting from human trafficking disproportionately affect Indigenous women and girls. Although there are reports on the trafficking of Inuit women and girls in Canada, little research has been conducted with Inuit living in Manitoba (MB) or coming to MB from Nunavut (NU) to access services.

      This study is a first attempt to understand human trafficking in MB and its specific impact on Inuit. Knowledge generated will empower the Inuit organizations other allied health service agencies to provide culturally relevant, supportive services for Inuit in MB, filling gaps in services that will support the health and well-being of individuals and families impacted by human trafficking. 

      Rachel Antonia Dunsmore (Faculty Sociology & Criminology)

      Thesis Research: Best Practices for Strengthening Eldercare: A Policy Review

      Research Summary: While aging in place is the preferred option of most members of the public over being institutionalized in later life, abuse and/or neglect of older adults also occurs within families and non-institutional settings. Domestic violence has been exacerbated by public health restrictions, yet domestic or family-based elder abuse is rarely named as a public problem and is likely underreported. Domestic elder abuse occurs in a context of a broader ageist society whereby older adults’ human and citizenship rights are frequently violated, within and outside of long-term care institutions. Despite an aging population, Canadian society is characterized by individualism and high levels of family breakdown whereby reciprocal relations of care are largely unsupported by public policies. There is also inadequate public understanding of the social aspects of aging in a context where aging is predominately understood from an individual, biomedical, or disease-based perspective.

      Building on my previous research on long-term institutional care in Canada, the goal of this research is three-fold: First, to review existing literature on best practices regarding community and family-based eldercare. Second, to review eldercare policies in Manitoba and across Canada with a particular focus on community/family-based eldercare. Finally, existing family-based eldercare policies in Manitoba and Canada will then be compared and evaluated with policy approaches to eldercare highlighted in the literature with a particular focus on the security and well-being of older adults. 

      Recipients of the Carolynne Boivin scholarship for research in family or gender-based violence 2021

      Lauren Bresch (Faculty of Sociology and Criminology)

      Thesis Research: Who is Responsible? Discourses on Mothering and Protecting Children in Service Provider Responses to Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) in Manitoba

      Research Summary: Lauren Bresch’s research analyzes how service providers in Manitoba make sense of mothering and the responsibility of protecting children in the context of IPV. Prior feminist research has found that the implementation of gender-neutral legislation for family violence and child protection has shifted the focus away from men’s violence and onto women’s ‘failures’ as mothers. Embedded within dominant discourses surrounding mothers and notions of risk, such policies hold mothers responsible for maintaining a safe home environment for children through controlling, managing, and fleeing men’s violence. If a mother is unable to cease men’s violence from occurring, she can be considered an ‘unfit’ mother subject to losing her child. While these policies aim to protect children from harm, in practice they responsibilize mother-victims of IPV.

      Building on these understandings of mothers, Lauren’s research engages in an in-depth critical discourse analysis of key informant interview data collected by the Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative to examine what kinds of discourses are evident among service providers’ framing and response to mothers and children who experience IPV and the ways in which notions of risks have permeated service provision for mother and child victims of IPV.

      Using an intersectional feminist lens throughout her research, Lauren seeks to expose problematic policies and practices prevalent in responses towards mothers (with a particular focus on responses towards mothers who are single, poor, and racialized) and children who experience IPV and highlight ways forward to create more humane and effective policies that better protect mothers and their children from violence.

      Bolloite Deborah Offor (Faculty of Law)

      Thesis Research: “Noticing” Intersectionality in Sexual Assault Trials: The Influence of Feminist Organisations on the Barton Decision   

      Research Summary: In the 2019 case of R v Barton, the Supreme Court of Canada, in what might be considered a ground-breaking decision, judicially noticed the fact that myths, stereotypes and discriminatory practices which operate against sexually assaulted women within the Canadian criminal justice system become compounded when the woman in question is Indigenous and more so, when the Indigenous woman is a sex worker.  Cindy Gladue, a 36-year-old Métis woman and mother of three was found dead in a bathtub, with an 11cm wound to her vaginal wall, following contracted sexual activities with Barton. Occurrences during the trial, like admission of prejudicial sexual history evidence, and references to Miss. Gladue as a “Native prostitute” led to intervening submissions by feminist organisations— an action that has been criticized as unduly interfering with the appeal process.  The objectives of Bolloite’s research are thus to:

      1. examine the extent to which the advocacy of feminist organisations influenced the Barton decision on appeal, as well as the necessity of their intervention; and
      2. project the possible impacts that the decision might have for Indigenous sexual assault complainants, going forward.

      The expected conclusions and recommendations Bolloite’s findings, will be crucial in critical assessments of the Barton decision, for lawyers, sexual assault complainants, the justice system and most importantly, Indigenous women, who have for too long, had to deal with multiple layers of discrimination within the Canadian society and the criminal justice system, as a consequence of the intersection between their race and gender.


      The RESOLVE Book Series includes publications authored by academics and community practitioners that address topics related to family violence and gender-based violence.

      The Healing Journey: A Longitudinal Study of Women Who have been Affected by Intimate Partner Violence

      The Healing Journey: A Longitudinal Study of Women Who have been Affected by Intimate Partner Violence was a Canadian tri-provincial research study (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba) of women abused by intimate partners and examined the nature of the partner abuse, physical and mental conditions, disabilities, child abuse history and quality of life. The research study was conducted between 2006-2008 and resulted in a number of scholarly articles.



      Contact us

      108 Isbister Building
      183 Dafoe Rd W
      University of Manitoba (Fort Garry Campus)
      Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada