A Survivor-Led Intervention Program: Addressing the 'parallel pandemic' of gender-based violence-related brain injury

The Women’s Centre for Social Justice (WomenatthecentrE) and the Acquired Brain Injury Research Lab, in collaboration with diverse community partners, are adapting, piloting, and evaluating an evidence-based, trauma informed, multi-sectoral intervention for persons who self-identify as women survivors of intimate partner violence with resultant brain injury (IPV-TBI). 

This project is creating a national “blueprint” for coordinated, evidence-based IPV-TBI services sensitive to a variety of intersectional identities and geographical contexts. The project is being piloted in British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec and is building bridges between traditional silos, increasing community capacity, and establishing pathways for ongoing multi-sectoral care referral, thereby readying the intervention for sustainable scale up and distribution. 

Community of Practice members:

Kelsy Dundas


Kelsy Dundas (she/her) is an abolitionist feminist working towards and on freedom dreaming, collective liberation, and transformative survival for sustainable and abundant todays and tomorrows. She has a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Social Work from Dalhousie University and a Master of Social Work from York University. She is currently a Project Manager at WomenatthecentrE, leading two federally funded initiatives to respectively strengthen community capacity to address the ‘parallel pandemic’ of gender-based violence (GBV)-related brain injury (BI) through a survivor-led support intervention and build internal team and community capacity to support survivors of GBV.

Nikki Plant  


Nikki Plant(she/her) is the Project Coordinator for our project focusing on the intersections of GBV and TBI. As a survivor living with a brain injury, her commitment to exploring the intersection of TBI and GBV resonates deeply. Nikki advocates for tailored support, awareness, and transformative change within this often-overlooked intersection through this project. Nikki believes that authentic change arises when survivors' voices are at the centre of every endeavor, a principle that also echoes in her work on the SurvivorsatthecentrE Guidebook, where she champions the importance of fostering survivor-centred approaches within GBV organizations. Nikki believes the journey to lasting change begins with survivors at the forefront, shaping the inception and development of every program and policy. Nikki has completed her SSW at Sheridan College and is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Social Work at McMaster University.

Other Members of the Project:

Nneka MacGregor (J.D.), Executive Director at WomenatthecentrE

Rifaa Carter

Gifty Asare (PhD), Head of Research and Principal Investigator

Dr. Angela Colantonio (PhD, Registered Occupational Therapist (Ont.), Senior Scientist on the Acquired Brain Injury and Society team

Danielle Toccalino (B.Sc., M.Sc., PhD (c)), Research Coordinator