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.

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

  • Dr. Kendra Nixon, Director of RESOLVE

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

Reports

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

Project Updates

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.

AVA Project Updates

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.

Improving Shelter Experience for Indigenous Women

The Improving Shelter Experience for Indigenous Women research project aims to contribute to our understanding of Indigenous women’s experiences seeking help in Indigenous and non-Indigenous-led women’s shelters. The  results of the research project will contribute to the betterment of shelter experiences for Indigenous survivors.

Investigators and community partners

RESOLVE Manitoba Investigators:

  • Dr. Kendra Nixon, Director RESOLVE
  • Dr. Masha Kardashevskaya, RESOLVE Research Associate

Community Partners:

  • Circling Buffalo Inc.

Funder: 

  • Women and Gender Equality Canada’s (WaGE)

Reducing Family Violence: Perspectives of Cultural Communities Interacting with Service Providers

The Reducing Family Violence: Perspectives of Cultural Communities Interacting with Service Providers Applying Cultural Safety and Humility research project aims to explore the experience of family violence within cultural communities in the Province of Manitoba and the role of culture and cultural safety.

Investigators and community partners

RESOLVE Manitoba Investigators:

  • Dr. Kendra Nixon, Director RESOLVE
  • Dr. Masha Kardashevskaya, RESOLVE Research Associate

Community Partners:

  • Coalition of Manitoba Cultural Communities for Families

Funder: 

  • Prairieaction Foundation

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:

  • FVFL Poster -  ENG or FR

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
  • Issue No. 17 (November 2023): Schuetze v. Pyper, 2021 BCSC 2209 (Part 1) and Pyper v. Schuetze 2023 BCCA, 334 (Part 2) | ENG or FR
  • Issue No.18 (December 2023): Parenting time, relocation, reunification therapy, and cooperative decision-making | ENG or FR
  • Issue No.19 (February 2024): Getting Evidence Before Family Law Judges: Fernandes v Fernandes, 2023 ONSC 564 | ENG or FR
  • Issue No.20 (March 2024): Coercion and Control in Family Law Cases: Armstrong v Coupland, 2021 ONSC 8186 | ENG or FR
  • Issue No.21 (April 2024): Protection Orders & Family Proceedings: 2023 MBKB 164 | ENG

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
  • Issue No. 28: Enhancing System Responses to Survivors and Perpetrators of Strangulation in Intimate Partner Violence | ENG
  • Issue No.29 (September 2023): Mental Health/Substance Use Coercion and Intimate Partner Violence Survivors in Family Court | ENG or FR

Past Community of Practice Webinars

An efficient family violence screening tool for mediators: The MASIC-S (February 1, 2023)

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

Leading experts in the research and practice of the use of family dispute resolution in family violence cases will discuss the importance of screening for family violence; introduce the MAISIC screening tool for mediators; share the latest research, tips and tools to help professionals achieve best practice standards when helping to resolve cases involving family violence, particularly those in which there are serious safety risks and power imbalances arising from family violence.

UN Special Report on Parental Alienation and Implications for Canada (January 11, 2024)

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

Presenters: Reem Alsalem, Mary Birdsell, Nneka MacGregor, Simon Lapierre, and Suzanne Zaccour  

Strangulation by an intimate partner is one of the strongest risk factors of future lethality. In April of 2023, UN Special Rapporteur Reem Alsalem released a report addressing the link between custody cases, violence against women and violence against children, with a focus on the abuse of the term “parental alienation”. In this report, she concludes that the discredited and unscientific concept of parental alienation is used in family law proceedings by abusers as a tool to continue their abuse and coercion, undermine and discredit allegations of domestic violence made by mothers who are trying to keep their children safe, and leads to decisions that violate the best interests of children. She makes a series of recommendations including: legislation to prohibit the use of parental alienation or related concepts  in family law cases; establishing regular monitoring mechanisms to oversee the effectiveness of family justice systems for victims of domestic abuse; ensuring mandatory training of the judiciary and other justice system professionals and requiring that no evaluations be made in family law proceedings without consideration of relevant criminal law and/or child protection proceedings. In this webinar, Ms. Alsalem will summarize the major findings and recommendations of her report. Her presentation will be followed by comments from youth with lived experience and a panel of respondents who will reflect on the relevance of these recommendations to Canada on steps that might be needed to implement change.  

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 Approaches: 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.

2021-Current

Year Project Budget
2024

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

 
2022

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

 
2022

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

 
2022

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

 

 

2020-2011

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
2017

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

$60,000
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
2015-2020

Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative for Vulnerable Populations

Achako nastakonikewin (Reconnecting our Spirits) Presentation Slides

KA PASPICIK KITIMAHITOWIN WIKIWAK  (Survivors of Domestic Violence)

$136,250
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

 

2010-2001

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

 

2000-1994

Year Project Budget

2000-2004

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

Contact us

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

204-474-8965
204-474-7686