Strong Women: Reducing the impact of intimate partner violence and substance use on women’s health.


The Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health is leading the creation and testing of an intervention for use in anti-violence and substance use services across Canada to support women who have experienced both intimate partner violence and substance use. The intervention is based on adaptations of existing workbooks and social support programmes for women who have experienced intimate partner violence and/or alcohol and/or tobacco use and/or trauma and related concerns. The adapted workbook and social support curriculum will be accompanied by a facilitator’s guide. This project involves pilot testing at two BC based agencies, the Karis Support Society and Atira Women’s Resource Society and pan-Canadian testing at six anti-violence and substance use service providers identified by our national project partners, Canadian Centre for Substance Use and Addiction and YWCA Canada. 

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Resources about Trauma (and Violence) Informed Practice

Community of Practice members

Nancy Poole 


Role on the project: Principal Investigator, Strong Women 

Dr. Poole is the Director of the Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health, and a leader on online participatory methods for knowledge generation and exchange on complex women’s health issues. She has co-led system change initiatives and co-developed toolkits, training curricula and guidelines on trauma-informed practice with organizations, institutions and governments across Canada. She has published over 125 academic papers, book chapters and technical reports over the past decade, and co-authored or edited five books with Dr. Lorraine Greaves. She has a strong commitment to working with Indigenous partners to incorporate strengths based and Indigenous wellness approaches in all health and substance use related initiatives. She received an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from the Justice Institute of BC in 2021 for her work in advancing women’s health including trauma-informed practice and the treatment of substance use and addiction. She will co-lead the development of and training for the workbook and social support intervention with onsite facilitators. 

Dr. Lorraine Greaves 


Role on the project: Principal Investigator, Strong Women 

Dr. Greaves is the founding Executive Director of the Centre of Excellence for Women's Health and its Senior Investigator since 2009. She was previously the Director of the Centre for Research on Violence Against Women and Children in London ON.  She is a medical sociologist and has worked in education, government, hospitals, and academia. She was appointed Chair of Health Canada’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Health Products for Women in 2019. She has received numerous awards for her work, including a Doctorate of the University from the University of Ottawa. She is leading the academic evidence review and the co-development of the workbook, social support curriculum, and facilitator’s guide. She has experience in creating social support group curricula, leading numerous national and international projects and has authored twelve books, and numerous reports, guidance documents, workbooks, toolkits and articles on sex and gender science, intimate partner violence and substance use. 

Dr. Andreea Brabete 


Role on the project: Project Coordinator, Strong Women 

Dr. Brabete is a Research Associate at the Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health. Andreea studied psychology and holds a PhD in Women´s Health. Her PhD dissertation focused on the impact of immigration on health status and its relationship with sex and gender related factors, acculturation, and personality. Her research interests include the interplay of intersections of social determinants of health in different populations, substance use, mental health, intimate partner violence, and psychometrical characteristics of questionnaires. She will conduct the scoping review, lead the drafting of the scoping review report, and support the development of the workbook and social support curriculum. She will also prepare surveys and focus group guides and conduct the survey analyses. 

Lindsay Wolfson, MPH 


Lindsay Wolfson, MPH 

Role on the project: Researcher, Strong Women 

Lindsay is the Research Project Manager at the Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health. She holds a Master of Public Health, Social Inequities and Health, from Simon Fraser University. Lindsay is responsible for research and collaboration on projects relating to women’s substance use and stigma reduction, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder prevention, Indigenous health and wellness, and the integration of gender, trauma, culture, violence and equity-informed approaches into policy, research, and practice. She will coordinate activities with project partners and support research and knowledge exchange activities.