The Brenda Strafford Chair in the Prevention of Domestic Violence created Shift: The Project to End Domestic Violence. Shift's goal is to significantly reduce and prevent domestic violence in Alberta. The name Shift represents the spirit of this innovative project designed to create transformational change using a primary prevention approach to stop first-time victimization and perpetration of domestic violence. In short, primary prevention means taking action to build resilience and prevent problems before they occur.
The purpose of Shift’s research is: to contribute to building a primary prevention framework in Alberta; and to enhance the capacity of policy makers, systems leaders, clinicians, service providers and the community at large, to significantly reduce the rates of domestic violence in Alberta. We are committed to making our research accessible and working collaboratively with a diverse range of stakeholders, to inform and influence current and future domestic violence prevention efforts, through the perspective of primary prevention.
This study describes the level of government commitment in preventing domestic violence (DV) towards Indigenous women in countries of the Global North. Seventy-two government-endorsed DV prevention plans across 11 countries were analyzed. While over half of the plans acknowledged Indigenous peoples, the main discourse reinforced a western DV paradigm, reproduced negative stereotypes, and ignored systemic factors. Little consideration for intersectionality, the impact of colonization, or Indigenous worldviews was evident. Targeted prevention strategies were found but were disjointed and culturally inappropriate. Taken together, these findings suggest minimal government commitment and absence of cultural understanding regarding DV in Indigenous communities.
(The First Peoples Child & Family Review, 2016) Goulet, Sharon; Lorenzetti, Liza; Walsh, Christine A; Wells, Lana; Claussen, Caroline
Aboriginal women in Canada are at significantly higher risk for spousal violence and spousal homicide than non-Aboriginal women. Although the majority of Aboriginal people in Canada live in urban settings, there is a dearth of literature focusing on the experiences and violence prevention efforts of urban Aboriginal peoples. In order to understand issues relevant to the prevention of domestic violence among this population, we employed Aboriginal community development principles to conduct a scoping review of the relevant literature to explore the meanings and definitions, risk and protective factors, and prevention/intervention strategies within urban Aboriginal communities. Our study underscores that a number of domestic violence risk and protective factors are present in both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities. However, the multifaceted impacts of colonization, including residential school trauma is a key factor in understanding domestic violence in urban Aboriginal contexts. The limited available research on this topic highlights the need for Aboriginal-led research directed towards eliminating the legacy of violence for Aboriginal peoples in Canada.