Sessions

Facilitated Documentary Screening

Wednesday November 15, 2017

6:00-9:00 PM

Paper Tigers About Paper Tigers: trailer (https://vimeo.com/110821029).

More than two decades ago, two respected researchers, clinical physician Dr. Vincent Felitti and CDC epidemiologist Robert Anda, published the game-changing Adverse Childhood Experiences Study. It revealed a troubling but irrefutable phenomenon: the more traumatic experiences the respondents had as children (such as physical and emotional abuse and neglect), the more likely they were to develop health problems later in life—problems such as cancer, heart disease, and high blood pressure. To complicate matters, there was also a troubling correlation between adverse childhood experiences and prevalence of drug and alcohol abuse, unprotected sex, and poor diet. Combined, the results of the study painted a staggering portrait of the price our children are paying for growing up in unsafe environments, all the while adding fuel to the fire of some of society’s greatest challenges.

However, this very same study contains the seed of hope: all of the above-mentioned risk factors—behavioral as well as physiological—can be offset by the presence of one dependable and caring adult. It doesn’t need to be the mother or the father. It doesn’t even need to be a close or distant relative. More often than not, that stable, caring adult is a teacher.

It is here, at the crossroads of at-risk teens and trauma-informed care, that Paper Tigers takes root. Set within and around the campus of Lincoln Alternative High School in the rural community of Walla Walla, Washington, Paper Tigers asks the following questions: What does it mean to be a trauma-informed school? And how do you educate teens whose childhood experiences have left them with a brain and body ill-suited to learn?

In search of clear and honest answers, Paper Tigers hinges on a remarkable collaboration between subject and filmmaker. Armed with their own cameras and their own voices, the teens of Paper Tigers offer raw but valuable insight into the hearts and minds of teens pushing back against the specter of a hard childhood.

Against the harsh reality of truancy, poor grades, emotional pain, and physical violence, answers begin to emerge. The answers do not come easily. Nor can one simply deduce a one-size-fits-all solution to a trauma-informed education. But there is no denying something both subtle and powerful at work between teacher and student alike: the quiet persistence of love.

About the Facilitation: Prior to the movie, we will set the stage in a trauma informed way to prepare people for what they will see and what to look for. At the end of the movie, we will discuss how ACE’s (Adverse Childhood Experiences) set the stage for increased family violence, drug and alcohol addiction and social and emotional challenges. There will be time for people to ask questions. We will also give people some quick tips on how to be trauma informed and how to change their lens when working with traumatized individuals.

About the Facilitator: Line Perron is the Founder and Executive Director of Early Childhood Development Support Services, a capacity building organization that supports professionals who work in relationship based practiced with children, youth and families. Some of her most recent project based work includes consulting on the Community Mental Health Action Plan, leading the Alberta Hub for FIND (Filming Interactions for Nurturing Development) and her work on the Early Child Development Mapping Project as the Provincial Community Development and Mobilization Manager from 2009 – 2015. Line holds a degree in Psychology, a Masters in Family Ecology and Practice, an Indigenous Early Childhood Development Leadership and Management Certificate from the University of Victoria and is a certified Community and Workplace Traumatologist. On a personal note she has three grown children and a brand new grandson.

Keynote Addresses

Thursday November 16, 2017

9:00-10:00 AM

Tony Porter

Breaking Out of the Man Box

Tony Porter challenges manhood and male socialization in his work to prevent violence and discrimination against all women and girls. Porter articulates how the Man Box perpetrates sexism and inequality, and how embracing and promoting a healthy, respectful manhood will prevent domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment, bullying and other social ills.

 

1:00-2:15 PM

Evelyn Wotherspoon

Ordinary Magic: Fostering Resilience in Children

According to author Ann Masten, children are not born resilient, resilience is build from the ‘ordinary magic’ of human relationships. In this workshop participants will discover how young children engage in relationships from birth and how they use those relationships to regulate their emotions, attention and behaviour.

Using video clips and case examples the presenter will describe the core story of child development; what it is, how development happens, and what can derail healthy development. This part of the presentation will explore how caring relationships shape and sculpt the developing brain, how children use relationships to regulate their stress response, and how children learn important social skills such as empathy, persistence, and delayed gratification from relationships with parents.

Participants will learn about key concepts of early brain development including synaptogenesis and pruning, the basic components of the stress response system and how it develops, and how early exposure to domestic violence can impair lifelong health and emotional well-being. The presentation will include dramatic videos that illustrate brain plasticity and the effects of stress on the young brain.

The presenter will share effective communication tools for talking about early brain development and the impact of stress on the developing brain and body. Participants will learn about tested metaphors and strategies to explain the impact of domestic violence on young children that can be used in professional reports, court testimony, parent education and community events. Wonderful, free educational and AV resources available from the Alberta Family Wellness initiative and the Harvard Centre for the Developing Child will be shared.

 

Friday November 17, 2017

9:00-10:00 AM

Pamela Cross

Shared Parenting vs. the Safety of Women and Children

A family court system premised on “friendly parenting” that does not understand the prevalence of post-separation violence creates serious challenges for women dealing with ongoing abuse and often results in custody outcomes that force them into close and unsafe – even lethal — contact with their abuser for many years.

Yet an unwritten shared parenting presumption seems to have taken hold in Canada, perhaps because unrepresented litigants do not put needed evidence effectively before the court, perhaps because some judges are looking for a way to resolve these difficult and complicated situations as “win-win” for both parents, perhaps because the family court system is driven by time and resource constraints, perhaps because courts do not understand the reality and complexity of violence against women.

This keynote address will examine a number of elements that support this unwritten presumption, including:

  • The factors in family court that create an environment hostile to survivors of violence and lead to inappropriate outcomes placing women and children at risk of ongoing harm
  • The impact of a so-called gender neutral framework
  • The general lack of understanding of the dynamic of past and ongoing violence and the impact of that on custody and access decisions
  • The prevalence of idealized notions of families/fathers and the harm this causes for families where abuse is present
  • The often unspoken presumption that shared parenting is best for children and that any father is a good father
  • The extent to which decision-makers impose their worldview on their interpretation of the best interests test
  • How/when protective mothering becomes reinterpreted as alienation of an abusive father
  • The impact of trauma on the ability of mothers to engage effectively in custody and access litigation

It will then explore best practices and emerging trends in custody and access outcomes that have the potential to address the safety of women and children who must deal with both the impact of past abuse and the reality of ongoing abuse post-separation and even post court order.

Pamela Cross will speak from her experience as a family law lawyer as well as the expertise she has gained through her work with a wide range of organizations and initiatives, in particular Ontario’s Family Court Support Worker Program, that provide support to women who have been subjected to violence and who become involved in the family law system.

 

1:30-2:30 PM

Karen Vadino

Laughing: Just for the Health of it

Humor and laughter are essential ingredients for healthy selves and healthy relationships.  Understanding and accepting ourselves can provide a bridge to connecting with others.  Laughter and humor impact on our lives in many ways.  This workshop will explore that impact and provide opportunities for us to examine our own sense of humor.  We will determine strategies for adding more humor into our lives.

Goal:

To discover how humor can improve the quality of our lives.

Objectives:

  1. To increase awareness of the importance of humor in our lives
  2. To recognize the significance of the relationship between laughter and stress reduction
  3. To explore the many emotional and physical benefits of humor and laughter
  4. To provide methods of putting more humor in our lives

 

Concurrent Sessions

Thursday November 16, 2017

10:30 AM-12:00 PM

Session A:

Marcus Cheung

Working with Male Victims of Domestic Abuse

This workshop will touch on the similarities and differences of working with males and females who have experienced domestic abuse, while looking at how to engage and work with males differently. Topics will include knowledge about prevalence and the types of domestic violence that males who attend Calgary Counselling Centre predominantly experience, anecdotal and qualitative evidence of what males are reporting of their experiences and what they are asking for from treatment, statistics and some of what the literature is saying about males as victims, learn ways to engage with male clients, some of the barriers and experiences of men as they seek help from professionals, and how to find different ways to assess and engage male who identify as being victims of domestic violence. Anyone working with men in a domestic violence capacity would benefit from this workshop through developing a greater understanding of what men may experience as victims or when there may be bilateral violence occurring as well.

 

Session B:

Barry Goldstein

The Choice: Stop Domestic Violence or Tolerate It [REPEAT-Session J]

There is now a specialized body of knowledge and expertise concerning domestic violence that was not available when many of the present responses were adopted. Communities that enjoyed the best results employed practices that have since been confirmed effective by the research. The original Quincy Model operated from the late- 1970s until the mid-1990s. A county that averaged 5-6 DV homicides annually enjoyed several years with no murders. Other places like San Diego and Nashville also enjoyed substantial reductions in DV crimes using similar practices. I have updated the successful responses based on new research and technology. The successful practices in the Quincy Solution include strict enforcement of criminal laws, protective orders and probation rules; a coordinated community response; practices that make it easier for victims to leave and implementation of new research and technology. In Quincy, District Attorney Bill Delahunt noticed that victims stopped cooperating when their abusers sought custody. This did not derail Quincy because at the time it was a rare tactic. Today it is a standard tactic that the custody courts fail to understand and has undermined society’s efforts to stop domestic violence. Accordingly the Quincy Solution seeks to include the custody courts through the Safe Child Act. This would require courts to make the health and safety of children the first priority; integrate current research, use a multi-disciplinary approach; schedule an early hearing limited to the issue of family violence and provide court professionals with training and retraining that includes DV advocates.

The ACE Studies are medical research from the Centers for Disease Control that can change the world in the most wonderful way if only we use it. They found that the largest risk from domestic violence and child abuse is living with the fear which causes the worst kind of stress. This leads to shorter lives and a lifetime of health and social problems. Significantly practices that focus only on physical injuries miss 99% of the harm. Focusing on prevention will reduce cancer, heart disease, mental illness, crime, suicide substance abuse and many other medical and social problems. It will also save billions of dollars particularly on health costs and crime and expand the economy. The economic benefits should provide an incentive to public officials to take effective actions to prevent DV.

The Saunders” Study from the US Justice Department demonstrates that many and probably most psychologists, lawyers and judges used in custody cases do not have the specific knowledge about domestic violence that is needed. This leads to decisions that jeopardize children exposed to adverse childhood experiences. New research also from the US Justice Department and led by Professor Joan Meier will be released shortly after this conference. I will share some of the findings that show custody courts are getting a large majori8ty of abuse cases wrong and shows the mistakes that lead to these dangerous outcomes.

This research means that for the first time in human history we have the ability to dramatically reduce domestic violence if only we have the will. 

 

Session C:

Lynn Griffin & Dallas Adams

Old Tools, New Ways: Innovations in the Treatment of Intimate Partner Violence Survivors [REPEAT- Session L]

One issue confronting those working with the survivors of (IPV) is how to help survivors in a culturally sensitive and responsive manner. These cultural barriers often can make initiating and staying in treatment difficult for clients. Understanding what happens to survivors physiologically allows us to craft specific treatments that address not only physiological challenges but assist us in making treatments more effective and accessible. We will be presenting on an inclusive, and culturally sensitive adjunctive intervention called Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY) and how it treats the complex trauma created by IPV.

Prior to delving into the specifics of TCTSY, it is essential to identify the key factors around IPV and the experience of trauma itself. Service providers are confronted daily with survivors who have not only experienced IPV but have also often previously experienced other types of abuse or neglect . The IPV experiences are one more type of trauma that is both relational and longitudinal. The presentation will offer insights into the intergenerational impact of IPV and adverse childhood events and how their impact can dictate individuals’ choices in intimate partner relationships as opposed to inform them.

One area offering increasingly important opportunities for understanding trauma and its treatment for IPV survivors is neuroscience.  The function of the amygdala, the cerebral cortex, and the interceptive pathways offer important information about the impact of trauma on the brain.   Understanding the bio-psychosocial links between trauma and the changed body and mind will allow participants to see how the intervention of TCTSY is effective in helping victims heal from their experiences of violence.

TCTSY was created by The Trauma Center in Brookline, Massachusetts to treat complex trauma.  It is an evidence-based practice that has its roots in the neuroscience of the changed brain and appears to use  trauma and attachment theory to “re-wire” the brain in a manner controlled by the participant. The safe approach and techniques allow participants to regain a relationship to their bodies that has been disrupted by traumatic experiences. This individual or group-based intervention can be incorporated within an array of support services and delivered in a variety of contexts.

During this presentation participants will learn:

  1. The amygdala’s role in survival; this will assist those who work with IPV survivors to intervene more effectively during times of “crisis” or “activation.”
  2. The role of the cerebral cortex and the “intelligent functions,” such as memory, language formulation and usage, information processing, judgment and decision-making, and why this is important in work with IPV survivors.
  3. “What works” and what “doesn’t work” with IPV survivors, and the “whys” behind some confusing and/or paradoxical behaviors demonstrated by survivors.
  4. TCTSY core components and how to use it in work with IPV survivors.

There will be a 20-minute demonstration of TCTSY at the end of the session and an opportunity for questions during and after the presentation.

 

Session D:

Dr. Sandy Jung

Applying the Risk Principle in the Effective Prevention of Intimate Partner Violence

Widely accepted in guiding offender management and rehabilitation is a theory of criminal conduct known as the Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR) model, comprising three principles (Andrews & Bonta, 2010). The first principle, the risk principle, identifies who we should treat, and asserts that the level of service must match an offender’s risk level. Therefore, effective interventions are those that target higher risk offenders, and assign greater intensive services to higher risk offenders. Second, the need principle highlights the importance of identifying and treating criminogenic needs, and therefore emphasizes what we should treat.  Interventions that target criminogenic needs increases the ability to reduce future reoffending behaviour. Lastly, the responsivity principle asserts that the style and mode of intervention should match an offender’s personality, learning style, and motivation.  Recent research has suggested that domestic violence programs respecting the RNR principles may be effective in reducing intimate partner violence (Stewart, Gabora, Kropp, & Lee, 2014).

Of particular relevance is the risk principle. There are two components of the risk principle, which has been referred to as “prediction and matching” by Andrews, Bonta, and Hoge (1990). The first component emphasizes the importance of reliably predicting criminal behaviour using evidence-based risk instruments. The second component of the risk principle highlights the need to properly match the level of service to the offender’s risk level. That is, assessed risk will provide grounds for identifying whom to provide the most services. Hence, the first task is to ensure that validated risk measures are used to assess intimate partner violent (IPV) offenders. Often the validation of risk assessment measures is executed with already-identified offenders who have been sentenced and/or incarcerated.  Hence, there has been a heavy focus on the management of individuals who have been convicted and sentenced for IPV. At the frontline of this tertiary prevention process, are those professionals, namely police officers and social workers, who must make decisions about individuals whom they think are dangerous to their intimate partners, but often do not have the tools to effectively and accurately effect such preventative change. In light of the constraints on police services in allocating resources to areas and individuals who need it the most, the RNR principles highlight how we can maximize positive outcomes and reduce further victimization by directing a greater intensity of services to those most at risk. In order to accomplish this efficiency, frontline professionals require the tools to make that assessment of risk.

This presentation will provide an overview of the RNR model, its application to IPV cases, local empirical research that utilizes validated measures to predict risk, and how risk assessment can help to effectively prioritize the allocation of resources.

 

Session E:

Jill Cory

Making Connections: Putting Research Into Practice with Harm Reduction, Low Barrier Support Groups for Women With Experiences of Abuse

50% of women accessing substance use treatment are currently in abusive relationships. That number rises to 90% when emotional abuse is included. Support and intervention strategies and services often neglect the dominant role that abusive partners play in women’s substance use and mental health. In response to evidence that much of women’s substance use and mental health concerns post-date experiences of abuse, Jill Cory and her team at BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre developed and evaluated Making Connections, a 16 week support group for women with experiences of abuse, substance use and/or mental health concerns.

The Making Connections support groups will be described in this session, and evaluation findings from participant pre- and post- surveys and focus groups will be shared, including improvements experienced over the course of the study in relation to participants’ substance use, mental health symptoms, and sense of isolation and empowerment.

This interactive workshop will help participants to understand the interplay between abuse , substance use and mental health concerns, and offer an example of translating research into practice in order to more effectively and appropriately support women who have experienced these intersecting issues. The workshop will also explore how to deliver integrated, low-barrier and harm reduction support groups using a 16 week support group model. It will review the elements of the framework and approach, which are critical to the success of the program.

At the conclusion of this presentation, the participants should be able to:

  1. Understand how violence/abuse contributes to women’s substance use and mental health concerns,
  2. Describe the guiding principles and approach of this support group model, as well as tools and activities used throughout the curriculum.
  3. Understand the benefits and changes experienced by support group participants over the course of the 16-week period.
  4. Explain the considerations, challenges and feasibility of delivering low-barrier, integrated support groups, including ethical and safety considerations when designing programs for this marginalized population of women.

 

Session F:

Erin Kuri

Interpersonal Violence in the Lives of Young Mothers

This presentation will provide an overview of the particular risks and forms of interpersonal violence experienced by young mothers within Canada and abroad.  Attendees will learn about ways that childhood trauma and family violence impacts the interpersonal relationships that young women build in their adolescent years and how these relationships unfold during pregnancy and into parenthood.  Attendees will gain further understanding with respect to working with young mothers and supporting their goals through building attuned relationships and implementing accessible and sensitive programming.  The presenter will contextualize the experiences of young mothers within current theoretical models of motherhood, examining the social construction of what it means to be a young mother facing multiple systemic barriers in our society.   
This presentation will be of interest to students, practitioners in the fields of mental health, infant and child development, family violence, health care, and the criminal and family justice systems.

 

Session G:

Dr. Mohammed Baobaid & Yasmin Hussain

Responding to Family Violence in Migration Contexts: Culturally Integrative Family Safety Response Model

This workshop presentation explores how we address domestic and family violence within migration contexts, in particular with newcomer families, who have experiences of pre- and post-migration trauma. This presentation shares the Culturally Integrative Family Safety Response model developed in London, Ontario and draws upon a case example to invite dialogue and learning.

This workshop presentation explores themes of identities and immigration with a focus on gender and migration through the issue of domestic and family violence within migration contexts.

This presentation draws upon the work of the Muslim Resource Centre for Social Support and Integration (MRCSSI) in London, Ontario. MRCSSI is an anti-violence agency working collaboratively with service providers and religious and cultural institutions to address and respond to domestic violence within newcomer communities and migration contexts, in particular with families who have experienced forms of pre- and post-migration trauma.

This workshop presentation shares knowledge and learnings grounded in practice in order to strengthen responses to domestic violence within migration contexts and ensure safety for women and children. Our goal with this presentation is to critically explore and expand approaches to responding to family violence within migration contexts.

We draw upon a case example to contextualize the issue of domestic violence within migration contexts, illuminate services challenges and opportunities, and share the Culturally Integrative Family Safety Response model developed by MRCSSI. This model supports responses along the continuum of prevention and intervention, entails collaboration and integrated service responses, and engages customized interventions at the level of the family.

Within this presentation we address issues of conceptualization – how to understand the complexity of domestic violence within migration contexts. We consider and explore issues of safety for women and children, migration and trauma informed responses, accountability without isolation, and working within collectivist family structures. Throughout we draw upon practical experience and share key elements of practice and service level interventions informed by the Culturally Integrative Family Safety Response model.

 

Session H:

Kathy Tuccaro

Building Resiliency Through Healthy Self-Esteem

Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress. It means “bouncing back” from difficult experiences. Easier said than done. Resilience is not a trait that people either have or do not have. It involves behaviors, thoughts and actions that can be learned and developed in anyone. When self-esteem is a critical low-point, building resilience is not an easy task. Self-esteem is a major contributor to the outcome being positive or negative. I will discuss the factors related to resilience; self-esteem and how to stay flexible during times of difficulty. This workshop will be a time of self-assessment and reflexion; a critical time where the audience can look at themselves and understand the importance of change if it applies to their lives. They will leave the workshop feeling empowered to challenge whatever problem they may be facing, whether it be financial, emotional, spiritual or physical.

 

2:45-4:15 PM

Session I:

Evelyn Wotherspoon

Executive Function Skills and the Impact of Trauma

This breakout session will be of interest to therapists, teachers, childcare providers and parents. The presentation  will focus on the early  development (and derailment) of Executive Function skills. Executive Function (EF) are the cognitive skills we use to regulate our feelings, manage impulses, focus attention and initiate, organize and plan an activity. Most adult mental health problems can be thought of as EF deficits. They are called the ‘invisible skills’ because they go unnoticed until the expectations or demands on the person increase, such as when the child enters childcare or school – or when an adult with poorly developed EF skills is under pressure.

Children with poorly developed EF skills can appear disorganized, distracted, or impulsive. These children are often are unable to work independently as expected for their age.

Parents do not always understand the impact of their conflict on the early development and consolidation of EF skills. Specifically, parents are often not making the connection between early stress and later attention and learning problems. They think if the child is a baby or they didn’t fight in front of the kids, the children are not affected. But when parents are stressed and preoccupied, it can affect development across several domains, even if children were not directly exposed to parent conflicts. There is also quite a bit of confusion around the interplay between hereditary factors, early and chronic stress exposure, and later developmental outcomes such as anxiety, hyperactivity or other attentional problems at school. Parents often believe the child’s attention problems were inevitable because they too struggled to sit still and pay attention in school.

The good news is that there are a range of non-intrusive strategies that can be used in the home and classroom to prevent problems or to help children once problems arise.  Strategies for helping children regulate emotions, attention and behaviour will be discussed using case examples and video.

By the end of this breakout session, participants will have a basic understanding of how to recognize EF skills deficits, how to organize assessment and intervention, and participants will have several excellent screening tools and online resources that can be accessed for free.

 

Session J:

Barry Goldstein

The Choice: Stop Domestic Violence or Tolerate It [REPEAT-Session B]

There is now a specialized body of knowledge and expertise concerning domestic violence that was not available when many of the present responses were adopted. Communities that enjoyed the best results employed practices that have since been confirmed effective by the research. The original Quincy Model operated from the late- 1970s until the mid-1990s. A county that averaged 5-6 DV homicides annually enjoyed several years with no murders. Other places like San Diego and Nashville also enjoyed substantial reductions in DV crimes using similar practices. I have updated the successful responses based on new research and technology. The successful practices in the Quincy Solution include strict enforcement of criminal laws, protective orders and probation rules; a coordinated community response; practices that make it easier for victims to leave and implementation of new research and technology. In Quincy, District Attorney Bill Delahunt noticed that victims stopped cooperating when their abusers sought custody. This did not derail Quincy because at the time it was a rare tactic. Today it is a standard tactic that the custody courts fail to understand and has undermined society’s efforts to stop domestic violence. Accordingly the Quincy Solution seeks to include the custody courts through the Safe Child Act. This would require courts to make the health and safety of children the first priority; integrate current research, use a multi-disciplinary approach; schedule an early hearing limited to the issue of family violence and provide court professionals with training and retraining that includes DV advocates.

The ACE Studies are medical research from the Centers for Disease Control that can change the world in the most wonderful way if only we use it. They found that the largest risk from domestic violence and child abuse is living with the fear which causes the worst kind of stress. This leads to shorter lives and a lifetime of health and social problems. Significantly practices that focus only on physical injuries miss 99% of the harm. Focusing on prevention will reduce cancer, heart disease, mental illness, crime, suicide substance abuse and many other medical and social problems. It will also save billions of dollars particularly on health costs and crime and expand the economy. The economic benefits should provide an incentive to public officials to take effective actions to prevent DV.

The Saunders” Study from the US Justice Department demonstrates that many and probably most psychologists, lawyers and judges used in custody cases do not have the specific knowledge about domestic violence that is needed. This leads to decisions that jeopardize children exposed to adverse childhood experiences. New research also from the US Justice Department and led by Professor Joan Meier will be released shortly after this conference. I will share some of the findings that show custody courts are getting a large majori8ty of abuse cases wrong and shows the mistakes that lead to these dangerous outcomes.

This research means that for the first time in human history we have the ability to dramatically reduce domestic violence if only we have the will.

 

Session K:

Kenzie Gordon

Game On: Video Games as Violence Prevention Tools [REPEAT-Session R]

Although violence prevention education frequently draws upon cultural sources like film, television, and music to discuss portrayals of domestic violence and relationships, little attention has been paid to the representation of these relationships in video games. As video games are an increasingly prominent source of entertainment for young people and adults alike, understanding what messages games are telling about relationships is essential in effectively employing them as educational tools. This session will provide attendees with the knowledge necessary to begin discussing domestic violence and relationships in video games from a violence prevention perspective. Topics covered will include an introduction to critical game studies, discussion of depictions of domestic violence in games, and an examination of games well suited to violence prevention work. Participants will have an opportunity to discuss what role games might have in the future of violence prevention and share strategies for incorporating games into violence prevention work.

 

Session L

Lynn Griffin & Dallas Adams

Old Tools, New Ways: Innovations in the Treatment of Intimate Partner Violence Survivors [REPEAT-Session C]

One issue confronting those working with the survivors of (IPV) is how to help survivors in a culturally sensitive and responsive manner. These cultural barriers often can make initiating and staying in treatment difficult for clients. Understanding what happens to survivors physiologically allows us to craft specific treatments that address not only physiological challenges but assist us in making treatments more effective and accessible. We will be presenting on an inclusive, and culturally sensitive adjunctive intervention called Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY) and how it treats the complex trauma created by IPV.

Prior to delving into the specifics of TCTSY, it is essential to identify the key factors around IPV and the experience of trauma itself. Service providers are confronted daily with survivors who have not only experienced IPV but have also often previously experienced other types of abuse or neglect . The IPV experiences are one more type of trauma that is both relational and longitudinal. The presentation will offer insights into the intergenerational impact of IPV and adverse childhood events and how their impact can dictate individuals’ choices in intimate partner relationships as opposed to inform them.

One area offering increasingly important opportunities for understanding trauma and its treatment for IPV survivors is neuroscience.  The function of the amygdala, the cerebral cortex, and the interceptive pathways offer important information about the impact of trauma on the brain.   Understanding the bio-psychosocial links between trauma and the changed body and mind will allow participants to see how the intervention of TCTSY is effective in helping victims heal from their experiences of violence.

TCTSY was created by The Trauma Center in Brookline, Massachusetts to treat complex trauma.  It is an evidence-based practice that has its roots in the neuroscience of the changed brain and appears to use  trauma and attachment theory to “re-wire” the brain in a manner controlled by the participant. The safe approach and techniques allow participants to regain a relationship to their bodies that has been disrupted by traumatic experiences. This individual or group-based intervention can be incorporated within an array of support services and delivered in a variety of contexts.

During this presentation participants will learn:

  1. The amygdala’s role in survival; this will assist those who work with IPV survivors to intervene more effectively during times of “crisis” or “activation.”
  2. The role of the cerebral cortex and the “intelligent functions,” such as memory, language formulation and usage, information processing, judgment and decision-making, and why this is important in work with IPV survivors.
  3. “What works” and what “doesn’t work” with IPV survivors, and the “whys” behind some confusing and/or paradoxical behaviors demonstrated by survivors.
  4. TCTSY core components and how to use it in work with IPV survivors.

There will be a 20-minute demonstration of TCTSY at the end of the session and an opportunity for questions during and after the presentation.

 

Session M:

Tony Porter

A CALL TO MEN; Your Influence, Your Platform – Developing Young Men of Character

As a follow up to his keynote address, Breaking Out of the Man Box, Tony Porter speaks to men about how to use their influence and platform to develop young men of character, and prevent violence and discrimination against all women and girls.  Women are always welcome and encouraged to attend.

 

Session N:

Yasmin Hussain

Creating Safety: Addressing gender-based family violence in the lives of Muslim young women

This presentation draws upon interviews carried out with Muslim young women, as well as case studies of situations addressed by the Muslim Resource Centre for Social Support and Integration (MRCSSI).

This presentation draws upon experiences working with Muslim young women who have experienced gender-based family violence and their stories in order to center the issue of how we create safety. This workshop presentation will use both power point and interactive elements for table discussions and focus on:

  1. Understanding gender-based family violence in the lives of Muslim young women
    1. What are their experiences of gender-based violence?
  1. Calling for more complex conceptualizations
    1. How do we conceptualize violence experienced by Muslim young women in their homes?
  2. How do we address and create safety for Muslim young women
  3. What does safety entail?
  4. What can we learn from the stories and choices of young Muslim women?
  5. What are the needs, priorities and challenges experienced by Muslim young women?

This presentation seeks to create a space for dialogue on realities of gender-based family violence in the lives of Muslim young women, as well as broaden our critical engagement on questions of how we (social service sector) respond to support and create safety.

Importantly, this presentation creates a critical space for thinking about issues of:

  • Contextually and culturally appropriate responses and supports
  • Violence and safety within collectivist cultural contexts
  • Adding complexity to our understandings of violence and safety
  • Recognizing the multiple and diverse needs of Muslim young women
  • Expanding how we think about safety and responses to creating safety

By drawing upon the narratives of young Muslim women and their experiences, this presentation seeks to complicate prevailing frameworks, which tend to simplify. Importantly, this presentation seeks to engage with the full complexity of the issue through personal stories shared by young Muslim women, thereby exploring more fully dynamics of gender-based family violence, the challenging contexts young Muslim women find themselves in, conceptualizations of safety, as well as meaningful responses and supports.

 

Session O:

Karin Linschoten

Pre-migration Context and Role Changes in Refugee Families

This workshop gives a view into the lives of refugees before their arrival in Canada, what the environment of a refugee camp is like and how these experiences influence peoples’ behaviors and lives.  In addition, this workshop will explore the role changes that occur within the families upon arrival in Canada and how the influence of culture and connections to the country of origin are ongoing stressors in their daily lives and need to be considered when working with these families.

 

Session P:

Linda Olson & Anna Radev

Childhood Domestic Violence (CDV) & the Evidence-Based Model for Supporting and Fostering Resiliency in Those Impacted [REPEAT-Session U]

This workshop will give participants critical education and understanding of Childhood Domestic Violence – the last unknown major childhood adversity that impacts approximately 1 in 7 and can have a profound impact on a life but has virtually no awareness – discussion on its co-morbidity with other major childhood adversities, and data that frames its profound and often lifelong impact. The workshop will then offer an examination of groundbreaking scalable solutions/tools, and one in particular – the empirically-tested Change A Life program endorsed by the U.S. Fund for UNICEF – which can be a critical lifeline for anyone working with or regularly coming into contact with impacted children or adults.

Developed in collaboration with the world’s leading researcher, Change A Life can teach any caring adult – and certainly those in the “helping” professions who work with at-risk populations – through a sequence of simple, easy to follow steps and modules, how to effectively intervene and become “THE ONE” for someone impacted, through simple support and hope that can foster their resiliency and ultimately change a life. The efficacy of this program was evaluated in a 2-year university study and the findings were published in the Journal of Family Violence.

Each workshop participant will also receive log-in credentials to the program, which they can then share with their colleagues and peers, as well as information on furthering their knowledge through a intensive, day-long seminar on building resiliency in children facing CDV or similar adversities, which uses Change A Life as the baseline.

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Define CDV
  • Understand its far-reaching impact and the basis for the behaviors exhibited by those impacted – have much greater context around the way those who are impacted may act and the triggers and causes, as well as the path to shifting those behaviors in a positive direction
  • Identify a child or adult who is impacted by CDV – be better equipped to glean if a child might be experiencing CDV or related adversity or if an adult may have in the past
  • Step into the life of an impacted person in an effective way that fosters positive outcomes – possess the knowledge and confidence to intervene appropriately and optimally to become “THE ONE” for a child or adults impacted by CDV
  • Discuss with and educate others about CDV and its impact, as well as the tools, resources, and information available to them – impart the information and resources obtained in this workshop to others to further widen the pool of informed, educated and prepared professionals who are able to step in at the right time in the right way
  • Spread the word to champion greater overall awareness, understanding, and informed action – speak confidently about CDV to help build overall awareness, which will drive the incentive and urgency for real changes to occur within the system itself that currently serves, or rather falls short of serving, impacted individuals

 

Friday November 17, 2017

10:30-12:00 AM

Session Q:

Pamela Cross

Supporting Survivors of Family Violence who are Involved with the Family Law System

The rate of unrepresented parties in family court in Canada is on a steady increase, with approximately 60 – 70% of litigants managing family court processes without a lawyer. The implications of and risks created by this for women who have left abusive partners are serious and significant. These women require specialized supports to keep them safe and to assist them in achieving appropriate outcomes in their cases.

Innovative models of such support will be examined in this workshop:

  1. Luke’s Place Support and Resource Centre in Durham Region, Ontario, offers legal information workshops for women, a Pro Bono summary legal advice clinic staffed by community lawyers and one on one support provided by specially trained legal support workers
  2. The provincial government-funded Family Court Support Worker Program, built on the Luke’s Place model, provides family court support to victims of domestic violence across the province of Ontario through frontline workers housed in community agencies

This workshop will look at the role of specialized domestic violence training for lawyers and court staff as well as ideas such as the possible use of paralegals in Ontario’s family court system.

The focus on the workshop will be on whether these initiatives make a positive difference for women and their children and what the policy implications of such programs may be.

Workshop participants are encouraged to bring information about innovative models and best practices with which they are familiar so the session can be an interactive exchange of ideas.

 

Session R:

Kenzie Gordon

Game On: Video Games as Violence Prevention Tools [REPEAT-Session K]

Although violence prevention education frequently draws upon cultural sources like film, television, and music to discuss portrayals of domestic violence and relationships, little attention has been paid to the representation of these relationships in video games. As video games are an increasingly prominent source of entertainment for young people and adults alike, understanding what messages games are telling about relationships is essential in effectively employing them as educational tools. This session will provide attendees with the knowledge necessary to begin discussing domestic violence and relationships in video games from a violence prevention perspective. Topics covered will include an introduction to critical game studies, discussion of depictions of domestic violence in games, and an examination of games well suited to violence prevention work. Participants will have an opportunity to discuss what role games might have in the future of violence prevention and share strategies for incorporating games into violence prevention work.

 

Session S:

Shawn Skillin

High-Conflict People in Families: Innovative Methods to Avoid Conflict Escalation

High Conflict People (HCPs) appear to be increasing in society and often contribute to the prevalence of domestic violence. An overview is provided of five personality patterns of high conflict behavior. Their different brain dynamics, common cognitive distortions and dysfunctional parenting behavior will be explained. Personality issues influencing domestic violence, child abuse, alienation and related topics will be discussed. Adapting our methods of assisting families involves a shift away from traditional efforts for client insight, focusing on past behavior, expressing frustration with high-conflict people and parents, and making decisions for them. Instead, our focus is on shared problem-solving in new ways by setting goals, teaching clients to ask questions, helping clients raise their own issues for decision-making meetings, communicating effectively in text and emails, making and responding to proposals, making decisions and reviewing pros and cons of accepting decisions.

 

Session T:

Kendra Kincade

Mentoring for Success

Transitioning from having paralyzing and self-limiting beliefs about oneself to finally believing in ones’ capabilities is not an easy feat, and one that does not happen overnight. The biggest realization a person can ever have is that they need to overcome their fears to reach their full potential.  But how?

Speaker, philanthropist, founder of Changing Stories, and founder and chair of Elevate Aviation, Kendra Kincade will share more about her career as an air traffic controller and the obstacles she had to overcome to make that happen.  This includes making a major career choice, packing up her four small children and driving to Cornwall Ontario for basic training, and embarking on a new life she never thought was attainable. Kendra also had to fight the doubts of others – uprooting her life and children to take them away while she trained was not something she expected to ever do and many people were convinced she would fail.

Kendra will share how she made her non-profit organizations come to fruition, and how she can motivate you to achieve your goals.  It’s a matter of believing in yourself and ignoring the voice that tries to tell you otherwise.  It’s a matter of facing the fear head on, and taking action, step by step, to achieve your success.

Kendra will discuss the five self-limiting thoughts that stop us from achieving our dreams and she will delve deeper into this topic by sharing more specifically the steps she has taken to develop her organizations and the challenges she continues to face.

 

Session U:

Linda Olson & Anna Radev

Childhood Domestic Violence (CDV) & the Evidence-Based Model for Supporting and Fostering Resiliency in Those Impacted [REPEAT-Session P]

This workshop will give participants critical education and understanding of Childhood Domestic Violence – the last unknown major childhood adversity that impacts approximately 1 in 7 and can have a profound impact on a life but has virtually no awareness – discussion on its co-morbidity with other major childhood adversities, and data that frames its profound and often lifelong impact. The workshop will then offer an examination of groundbreaking scalable solutions/tools, and one in particular – the empirically-tested Change A Life program endorsed by the U.S. Fund for UNICEF – which can be a critical lifeline for anyone working with or regularly coming into contact with impacted children or adults.

Developed in collaboration with the world’s leading researcher, Change A Life can teach any caring adult – and certainly those in the “helping” professions who work with at-risk populations – through a sequence of simple, easy to follow steps and modules, how to effectively intervene and become “THE ONE” for someone impacted, through simple support and hope that can foster their resiliency and ultimately change a life. The efficacy of this program was evaluated in a 2-year university study and the findings were published in the Journal of Family Violence.

Each workshop participant will also receive log-in credentials to the program, which they can then share with their colleagues and peers, as well as information on furthering their knowledge through a intensive, day-long seminar on building resiliency in children facing CDV or similar adversities, which uses Change A Life as the baseline.

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Define CDV
  • Understand its far-reaching impact and the basis for the behaviors exhibited by those impacted – have much greater context around the way those who are impacted may act and the triggers and causes, as well as the path to shifting those behaviors in a positive direction
  • Identify a child or adult who is impacted by CDV – be better equipped to glean if a child might be experiencing CDV or related adversity or if an adult may have in the past
  • Step into the life of an impacted person in an effective way that fosters positive outcomes – possess the knowledge and confidence to intervene appropriately and optimally to become “THE ONE” for a child or adults impacted by CDV
  • Discuss with and educate others about CDV and its impact, as well as the tools, resources, and information available to them – impart the information and resources obtained in this workshop to others to further widen the pool of informed, educated and prepared professionals who are able to step in at the right time in the right way
  • Spread the word to champion greater overall awareness, understanding, and informed action – speak confidently about CDV to help build overall awareness, which will drive the incentive and urgency for real changes to occur within the system itself that currently serves, or rather falls short of serving, impacted individuals

 

Session V:

Amy Munroe, Tina Buikema & Emma Wylde

Trauma-Informed Practice: Building Capacity in Volunteers

Sagesse has been empowering individuals, organizations and communities to break the cycle of violence for over 30 years. We empower clients, staff and volunteers to engage in our work within a trauma-informed model. Trauma-informed practice is characterized by the principles of awareness; safety; trustworthiness, choice, collaboration, and the building of capacity, strengths and skills. Trauma-Informed practice asks clients, “What happened to you?” rather than asking clients, “What is wrong with you?”  As a practice community, we are becoming increasingly aware of the effects of traumatic experience on the lives of individuals and their communities, and the need for a trauma aware response.

At Sagesse we integrate trauma-informed practice into our volunteer capacity building program. We support 70 volunteers as our front line staff who deliver 400 peer support group sessions over the course of a year. In the volunteer capacity building program, volunteers engage in knowledge gathering, dialogue, and specific activities to begin to recognize and respond to trauma. Our program staff curate environments where trauma awareness is openly discussed and examined. Volunteers explore possible trauma coping mechanisms, viewing physical space through a trauma lens, stigma and shame, ways to support, and the limitations of trauma-informed practice. Through the process of capacity building, volunteers feel empowered to manage their own trauma responses, and in turn empower group participants to do the same.

Over the course of this workshop participants will be able to understand the practical steps of a trauma-informed model for building capacity with volunteers. Participants of the workshop will develop an understanding of the ripple effects of our trauma-informed program, such as overall agency health, empathic interpersonal and community response, and increased resiliency. In addition, workshop participants will be able to identify how trauma-informed practice supports the empowerment of volunteers, clients, staff, and the community. Using examples from our own successes and challenges, the presentation will examine how our belief in a trauma-informed capacity building program strengthens the abilities of volunteers.

 

Session W:

Linda Chamberlain

Capacitar: Tools to Reduce Stress & Vicarious Trauma and Promote Resilience

In this interactive workshop with Linda Chamberlain, a Capacitar facilitator, participants will learn about and practice a wide range of brain-body modalities that have been shown to be highly effective in promoting resilience, healing and well-being.  Capacitar uses a popular education approach to provide simple tools that can be quickly learned and shared with others.  Capacitar International works in over 40 countries with adults, children, families and communities in a wide range of settings including domestic violence shelters, schools, mental health services and other community services.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the basic principles of how Capacitar is working in areas of high stress, violence and poverty.
  • List two examples of how Capacitar methods calm the brain, reduce stress and promote resilience.
  • Demonstrate five self-care methods found to be effective for centering, relaxation and reducing stress.

 

Session X:

Garima Khatri & Pat Power

Immigrant Seniors Project: A Community Development project to enhance elder abuse intervention and prevention with Edmonton’s immigrant communities

The Seniors Protection Partnership is a multidisciplinary team that responds to high risk situations of elder abuse in the Edmonton area. Utilizing the United Nations recognized best practice approach of a Coordinated Community Response, the team offers elder abuse prevention and intervention services that integrate law enforcement, health and social services to support clients and meet their needs. Identifying elder abuse prevention and intervention services to ethno cultural communities as a gap in services, the SPP joined together with 3 partnering organizations to initiate the Immigrant Seniors Project.

The project is a community engagement and community development project being conducted in 3 phases. The first phase is an Environmental Scan that examines the existing situation of elder abuse to better understand: the nature of the immigrant community needs; strengths and challenges; and the barriers faced when accessing formal services. The second phase brings together a cross-sector team to integrate the information from the Environmental Scan to formulate enhancements to the SPP’s existing response. Finally, the third phase is the development of an implementation plan. The pilot project targets Edmonton’s Chinese and South Asian communities.

At the end of the session, participants will leave with information about:

  • elder abuse and types of violence
  • the further layers of complexity of elder abuse in ethno cultural communities
  • the gaps and barriers experienced by service users and service providers
  • the emergence of elder abuse in Alberta, overlaid by immigration trends in the same time period
  • insights into enhancements that can be developed to enhance elder abuse prevention and intervention services with ethno cultural communities
  • community engagement and community development processes being utilized in the project

 

Poster Presentation

Solomiya Draga

Barriers to effective data use: An exploration of common practices and problems faced by non-profit service providers in Edmonton.

In recent years, non-profit service providers in Canada have faced increasing pressure to demonstrate the impact they have on their communities through the use of quantitative data. However, there is little research that explores whether such organizations have the resources to effectively collect or utilize quantitative data, and what obstacles they encounter in their efforts to do so. This poster presentation sheds some light on the barriers that non-profit organizations face in their attempts to work with client data, and offers some possible solutions for the future.

This presentation is based on a Master’s Thesis project that explored how data is currently being collected, used, perceived and shared at four prominent charities that work with female victims of abuse, violence, and exploitation in Edmonton, Alberta.

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