Partnering for Change: A Collaborative Model for Research on Violence Against Women in Canada

Thursday, 14 July 2016: 14:30
Location: Hörsaal 33 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Catherine HOLTMANN, Muriel McQueen Centre for Family Violence Research, Canada
In the early 1990s, five centres dedicated to research on violence against women were established in universities across Canada.  In Atlantic Canada, the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research (MMFC) at the University of New Brunswick was founded in order to understand more fully the issues associated with the abuse of women and children.  From the beginning the MMFC has supported a collaborative approach to research and social change.  Community-university research teams and projects have addressed multiple forms of family and intimate partner violence and violence against women.  This collaborative model has proven effective in engaging various sectors for social change and is flexible in order to accommodate a diverse range of partners who want to address new issues that arise in relation to the field.  Academic researchers, students, survivors, public service providers, community leaders, civil servants and criminal justice workers have come together to better understand and intervene in situations of family and intimate partner violence, providing safety for victims, holding perpetrators accountable and helping survivors and their families rebuild their lives.  The results of this model of collaborative research have contributed to the development of resources for victims, recommendations for changes in legislation and social policy, increased funding for social services, tools for service providers, and heightening public awareness.  This presentation will provide examples of the work from two teams: the Religion and Violence research team, which began with the founding of the MMFC, and the recently established Violence against Immigrant and Visible Minority Women research team.   The outcomes of collaboration within these research teams show that an emphasis on collaboration demands a collective response to intimate partner violence – violence against women becomes everyone’s problem.  The paper will be situated within a feminist intersectional framework and the social science literature.