Bulletin 6

Hub Bulletin Banner

View Printable PDF version
View Plaintext Word version




In June 2017, the federal government unveiled the long-awaited national strategy on gender-based violence (GBV).  Status of Women Minister, Maryam Monsef announced the GBV strategy which aims to strengthen prevention, support for survivors and their families, and promotion of responsive legal and justice systems. The allocated federal budget will help collect data on GBV across Canada.  New funding will also support key initiatives with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).

I am pleased that the Public Health Agency Canada will play a role in It's Time: Canada's Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence. We know that gender-based violence, including family violence, can have serious and lasting impacts on health, and we are committed to supporting and promoting programs that prevent violence in families and among youth.”- Shannon Hurley, PHAC


Meet Andrea Lapp!

Andrea Lapp“My role is to coordinate the program and research of MindUP for Young Children. I am proudly Ojibwe of Aamjiwnaang First Nation, from my mother’s side of my family. This heritage has majorly influenced my life and continues to shape my goals.  Early on in my life, I realized that Indigenous students need to feel pride and a strong connection to their cultures in schools, in order to feel the safety that is required for learning. This lead to me to my work with program implementation in schools.

 I’m also a proud partner and mother. I’m taking violin lessons using the Suzuki method with my young daughter, Leah. I’m also interested in houses and architecture. I recently started a residential real estate investment company with my dad and we own 4 rental property units.” Andrea Lapp


The Knowledge Hub team has made a number of significant changes to its website in an effort to improve access to information on the 15 trauma-informed health promotion projects. The “Project Profiles” section now includes a webpage for each project with information on project goals, objectives and activities. Each project webpage will be continuously updated with project related news.

Contact us if you would like to contribute with information/updates to the webpages.  


Building Internal Resilience Through HorsesBuilding Internal Resilience Through Horses

It is never too early for community projects to begin reflecting on the impact of their programs on the people they are serving. Building Internal Resilience through Horses uses a combination of expressive workshops and equine- assisted learning to build resilience in young girls (aged 13-18) who have experienced trauma. The first group of the project started in March 2017 and preliminary data points to the impact of this intervention.

The program is designed to help young girls recognize the connection between their past experiences and present situations and reinforce both “choice” and “control”. Participants are invited to complete a short feedback card and reflect on their experiences at the end of each equine-assisted learning session. Project members are delighted with the positive feedback that they have received from participants. The letters below, capture some of the learning and opportunities that young girls have experienced through the program:

“This program has helped me with a lot of emotions and helped me with talking about the problems that I had and have now. So thank you for getting this program and showing us how to stop and breathe.

“From you setting up the resilience through horses program, I have been able to not only learn to love myself by learning that what happened to me wasn’t my fault, but I have become able to fall in love again with a male figure because I am not afraid I will be abused.”

“Thank you for creating the horses program. It has helped me with establishing boundaries and learning to be my true self. It has helped me cope with my trauma.”

Building Internal Resilience through Horses is led by the Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre, Trent University, and the Mane Intent.

“Receiving the letters has been very rewarding and affirming that we are on the right path!” -  Sonya Vellenga, Executive Director, Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre.


Not Just Horsing Around: The Impact of Equine-Assisted Learning on Levels of Hope and Depression in At-Risk Adolescents

Frederick, K. E., Hatz, J. I., & Lanning, B. (2015). Not Just Horsing Around: The Impact of Equine-Assisted Learning on Levels of Hope and Depression in At-Risk Adolescents. Community Mental Health Journal,51(7), 809-817. doi:10.1007/s10597-015-9836-x

Equine-assisted learning (EAL) is an experiential modality which utilizes horses to provide a unique learning experience for personal growth. This article reports on the findings of a study where at-risk middle and high school students participated in a 5 week equine-assisted learning (EAL) program. The study showed that even a brief (5-week) intervention of EAL had a positive impact on the lives and attitudes of at-risk adolescents, with increased levels of hope and decreased levels of depression.

"Equine-assisted learning contributes to increased levels of hope and decreased levels of depression in adolescents."


Safe and Understood Project LogoSafe & Understood

Safe and Understood is a five-year project that is currently partnered with three universities and six non-profit organizations in Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick. The project aims to provide clear, domestic violence focused leadership at the national level to promote better outcomes for children.

Recently, Safe and Understood undertook a Canada-wide scan on policies and services to uncover to what extent available interventions incorporate best practice principles for mothers and young children (aged 0-4) who have been exposed to domestic violence (DV).

Safe and Understood National Scan CoverSafe & Understood national scan revealed the following:

  • Therapeutic intervention with young children who have been exposed to DV and their mothers is occurring in a structured way with Mothers in Mind (MIM) and in a less structured way with some practitioners across the country;
  • although many more services are available for children over the age of 4, there is a general sense that therapeutic services for child victims of DV are lacking;
  • while all provinces and territories have DV/family violence prevention coordinating bodies affiliated with the government, specific policy attention to the need of child victims of DV is variable and seldom an explicit component.



Demand for Community-Based Programs Exceeding Expectations

Innunguiniq is adapting, piloting, and evaluating the evidence-based Innunguiniq Parenting Program with ‘high-risk parents/caregivers in Nunavut. Two programs are currently running in Iqaluit and Arviat. Three additional programs are scheduled for this year with the August/September one at full capacity and many participants on the wait-list.

Building Internal Resilience Through Horses continues to generate high interest among young women aged 13 to 18 even beyond its initial anticipated geographical reach. The program has responded to the high demand and interest from participants by working with the community to come up with creative solutions. Some participants are receiving assistance for the travel costs. In other cases, the program is utilizing volunteer driving agencies in rural communities and supporting families by supplementing gas costs. Also, the program has partnered with a local Youth Emergency Shelter to use their van rather than renting from a rental agency. By creating relationships with community agencies, the program has been able to accommodate rural participants who are often limited in the services they can access.

Canada map with each province shaded in different colours

Through PHAC’s investment, 15 trauma-informed health promotion interventions are being delivered, tested and shared in over 130 sites, reaching every region of Canada.

The World Takes Interest in Trauma-Informed Health Promotion Interventions

Researchers and practitioners involved in the trauma-informed health promotion projects have been busy sharing their work and presenting the projects at international conferences and forums.

MindUp Project LogoRecently, members of MindUP for Young Children attended the 2017 Society for Prevention Research 25th Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.  This well attended meeting brings together scientists, public policy leaders and practitioners invested in the implementation of evidence-based preventive interventions in all areas of public health.  Team members were provided with the opportunity to showcase their work via a poster on preliminary educator data linking trauma-informed practice to social-emotional learning and mindful awareness within schools. 

STEP project logoMembers of STEP were invited to present at the March 2017, 7th World Congress on Women’s Mental Health Symposium in Dublin, Ireland.  International experts on parenting in the context of trauma participated at this symposium, which focused on women’s mental health rights, resilience and recovery. Dr. Nicolas Berthelot presented on metallization as a protective factor among mothers with a history of childhood trauma and introduced STEP to participants.  Members of STEP will be presenting their work in November 2017 at another international conference in Chicago.

Safe and Understood Project LogoIn partnership with Native Child Family Services Toronto (NCFST), Safe and Understood has been exploring and researching the potential applicability of the Mothers in Mind intervention to Indigenous child welfare services. Dr. Angelique Jenney and a co-presenter from NFCST will be presenting a paper on the findings of this research at the II European Conference on Domestic Violence, held in Porto, Portugal from September 6-9, 2017. This international conference aims to connect research and intervention within the field of domestic violence.

Projects Engage Participants in Research Design

When collecting research data, researchers often find it helpful to solicit early feedback from participants on research tools.

Nato’ we ho win is designing, delivering, and evaluating an innovative Indigenous cultural arts program that addresses the mental and physical health needs of Indigenous women who have experienced intimate partner violence (IPV). The project was piloted in Moose Jaw from March to May 2017. This 12-week intervention was followed by a focus group in the form of a sharing circle. Women participating in the pilot group were provided with the opportunity to share their feedback on the program and the research tools. The findings from the pilot group will better inform and support the implementation of the project’s upcoming groups and data collection. Starting in September 2017, Nato’ we ho win will run in three communities: Prince Albert, Regina, and Moose Jaw.

Check out the Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan (PATHS)

Shape Your Life offers a free recreational boxing program to female and trans survivors of violence. The project is currently running its third group and participants are invited to fill out questionnaires three times over the course of 16 weeks. The questioner package is streamlined based on feedback from participants and project team members’ observations.  Shape Your Life boxing classes have moved to Bloor Street Boxing & Fitness Club, Shape Your Life’s new partner.


Boost project newsletter front pageBoost CYAC Spring/Summer 2017 Newsletter

Sole Expression is using hip-hop to promote healing and well-being for youth (ages 12-17) who have experienced child abuse and/or domestic violence. The project is led by Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre (Boost CYAC) and Ryerson University. Check out Boost CYAC latest newsletter with information on Sole Expression!

A tailored online safety and health intervention for women experiencing intimate partner violence: the iCAN Plan 4 Safety randomized controlled trial protocol

Ford-Gilboe, M., Varcoe, C., Scott-Storey, K., Wuest, J., Case, J., Currie, L. M., Wathen, C. N. (2017). A tailored online safety and health intervention for women experiencing intimate partner violence: the iCAN Plan 4 Safety randomized controlled trial protocol.BMC Public Health,17(1). doi:10.1186/s12889-017-4143-9

This article reports on the findings of a randomized controlled trial, where 450 Canadian women who have experienced IPV were randomized to either a tailored, interactive online safety and health intervention (ICAN Plan 4 Safety) or general online safety information (usual care). This trial builds on and extends research on online safety interventions for women experiencing IPV.

Sexual and Non-Sexual Violence Against Children and Youth: Current Issues in Gender, Trauma and Resilience
Wekerle, C., & Kerig, P. K.(2017).Sexual and Non-Sexual Violence Against Children and Youth: Current Issues in Gender,  Trauma and Resilience.Journal of Child and Adolescent Trauma,10(1), 3-8. DOI:10.1007/s40653-017-0130-7

This article examines the current issues in gender, trauma and resilience. It discusses the difference between sexual violence and non-sexual violence with a focus on children and youth and outlines the trauma-informed approach to sexual and non-sexual violence.



Conducting Research with Indigenous Populations 
Presented by: Gwen Healey, Executive and Scientific Director, Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre, Iqaluit

Trauma-Informed Practice with Indigenous Peoples across the Life Span
Presented by: Natalie Clark, Associate Professor, Thompson Rivers University

Reaching Youth through Sports: Trauma-Informed Physical Activity
Presented by: Rebekah Roulier, Chief Operating Officer, Doc Wayne

What it takes to be a Trauma-informed Organization
Presented by: Holly Murphy, Advanced Practice Leader for Trauma Informed Care, the IWK Health Center and Sue McWilliam, Advanced Practice Leader for Outcomes & Evaluation Research, IWK Health Centre.

From Trauma-informed to trauma-and violence-informed
Presented by: Colleen Varcoe, Professor, University of British Columbia

basket ball drawingPROJECT NAME CHANGE

Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada’s trauma-informed sports project formerly known as “Play On” has a new name: Bounce Back League (BBL)


Knowledge Exchange

Dates: Wednesday, September 20 to Thursday, September 21, 2017
Location: Ivey Spencer Leadership Centre, 551  Windermere Rd, London, ON N5X 2T1

The Knowledge Hub is pleased to announce that two distinguished guest speakers will be joining the September 2017 Knowledge Exchange to offer the following sessions:

Heather BullockHeather Bullock , “Knowledge Mobilization Basics and Beyond” 
Heather Bullock, is pursuing her PhD in the Health Policy program at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada and is part of the McMaster Health Forum's Impact Lab.  She has an extensive background in health care policy and knowledge translation, holding progressive leadership positions. Heather’s research interests lie in how large jurisdictions implement evidence-informed policy directions in mental health systems.

Emily Paradis HeadshotEmily Paradis, “Inclusive Processes in Community-based Research”
Emily Paradis is Senior Research Associate in the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at University of Toronto. Her scholarship and practice aim to support marginalized communities’ claims to spaces and rights in the city. Dr. Paradis is a researcher, advocate and front-line service provider on issues of homelessness for 25 years.


Linda Baker, Sara Mohamed, Anna-Lee Straatman, Jassamine Tabibi

We would love to hear from you!
Contact us: smoha84@uwo.ca

Check us out on Social Media:
Facebook: facebook.com/TheLearningNetwork
Twitter: twitter.com/learntoendabuse