IGH Research Teams – Team Grant: Violence, Gender and Health (2011-2016)

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The Gender, Violence & HIV Team: A Collaboration of the Gender & Sexual Health Initiative (GSHI)

Principal investigator: Dr. Kate Shannon
Co-principal investigator: Dr. Thomas Kerr

The Gender, Violence & HIV Team is an interdisciplinary and intersectoral team of researchers and knowledge users (policy makers, government, community partners) under the collaborative umbrella of the Gender and Sexual Health Initiative (GSHI) of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. The overarching goal is to examine how social and structural violence produce and reproduce interpersonal violence and HIV risk among vulnerable populations of sex workers and people who use drugs in Canada and globally. Informed by an ecological perspective, our GSHI team will bring together interdisciplinary research studies undertaken in Canada and the international settings of Uganda, India and Thailand which span human rights and policy analyses, social epidemiology, qualitative and ethnographic research. Through these conceptually linked projects, our specific team research objectives include evaluating criminalization policies (i.e., criminal sanctions on HIV transmission, sex work) as a form of structural violence that impacts risk of interpersonal violence and HIV; evaluating policies that reinforce stigma as a structural determinant and identifying the impact of community initiatives in countering stigma, violence and HIV; evaluating ongoing population-level 'natural experiments' (e.g., safer indoor sex work spaces, housing) on the production or reduction of structural and interpersonal violence and HIV risk. Through the GSHI team, we will develop a research and knowledge translation platform that will create synergies and address gaps in knowledge, policy and intervention on gender, violence and HIV, and thereby aim to improve the health of vulnerable populations in Canada and globally.

Contact the Gender, Violence and HIV Team:

Dr. Kate Shannon, Director
Gender and Sexual Health Initiative
BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS
Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine,
University of British Columbia
St Paul's Hospital, 608-1081 Burrard Street
Telephone: 604-806-9459
Fax: 604-806-9044
Email: gshi@cfenet.ubc.ca

Promoting Health and Preventing Violence: CIHR Team for Prevention of Violence and Victimization in Girls and Boys

Principal investigators: Dr. Marlene Moretti and Dr. Robert McMahon

The CIHR Team for Promoting Health and Preventing Violence will generate new knowledge on the role of sex and gender in relation to violence and health among young adolescent girls and boys and will evaluate an innovative and evidence-informed preventive program.

Housed within the newly established Institute for the Reduction of Youth Violence, the Team adopts a sex- and gender-based analysis and utilizes both quantitative and qualitative methodologies to better understand the factors that provide protection or present risk for young girls and boys as they transition from elementary to secondary school, a period of known vulnerability. Drawing on the multidisciplinary knowledge and experience of our Team we examine how sex and gender matter in terms of victimization, the expression of violence and aggression, social-relational, endocrine, neural, and genetic processes. By adopting an approach that integrates social-relational and neuro-biological aspects of developmental science, our Team is well positioned to understand the intersection of the multiple determinants of health as they relate to violence and victimization, and its prevention, in girls and boys during this critical developmental period.

Our Team is based on strong partnerships with community, government stakeholders and knowledge users. Together we are working to translate research into practice – and to translate practice into research – maximizing opportunities to build meaningful research programs, strong community-researcher networks, effective interventions, and informed health policy.

Contact the CIHR Team for Prevention of Violence and Victimization in Girls and Boys:

Dr. Marlene Moretti
CIHR Senior Research Chair
Professor, Department of Psychology
Registered Psychologist
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6
Email: moretti@sfu.ca

Roseann Larstone
Project Coordinator
Telephone: 778-782-4956
Email: roseann_larstone@sfu.ca

VISAGE research team (VIolence At work, according to Sex and GEnder)

Principal investigators: Dr. Stéphane Guay, Dr. Dominic Beaulieu-Prévost, Dr. Henriette Bilodeau, Dr. Richard Boyer, Dr. André Marchand, Dr. Aline Drapeau, Dr. Sonia Lupien, Dr. Stéphane Bouchard

Research coordinator: Juliette Jarvis

Our team comprises researchers from the fields of criminology, sexology, clinical and organizational psychology, psychiatry, epidemiology, and management studies. We have complementary expertise in quantitative and qualitative methodologies and in subjects including violence and victimization, gender studies, post-traumatic stress prevention, workplace health and safety, and organization of services. We develop partnerships with targeted professional sectors in order to enhance clinical and organizational aspects of care for workers exposed to, or at high risk of being exposed to, serious violent acts.

We propose to study this problem from the perspectives of: a) workers who are or are at risk of becoming victims of violence, b) the organizations that employee these workers, c) union/management committees, and d) the practitioners who are responsible for primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention before and after serious incidents occur. The workplaces in which episodes of serious violence may occur are highly varied in terms of the level of risk, the gender composition of the work force, and the primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention policies and procedures in place.

The objective of our proposed research program will be to develop, deepen, transmit, and share knowledge about workplace violence according to gender and type of workers, with respect to: 1) the impact of acts of serious violence not only on health but also on quality of life in the workplace, 2) the epidemiological and conceptual dimension of violence in the workplace, 3) needs for formal and informal support following episodes of violence, 4) the most effective and efficient methods of preventing violence and its consequences, and 5) the most appropriate methods of facilitating recourse and access to services.

Contact the VISAGE team:

Stéphane Guay, PhD
Director of the VISAGE research team
Trauma Study Centre, Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Montréal
7401, Hochelaga Street, Montreal, Quebec, H1N 3M5
Phone: 514-251-4000 ext. 3084
Email: stephane.guay@umontreal.ca

Juliette Jarvis
Research coordinator
Phone: 514 251-4000 ext.3738
Email: jjarvis.crfs@ssss.gouv.qc.ca

Voices Against Violence: Youth Stories Create Change

Nominated principal investigator: Dr. Helene Berman

Co-principal investigators: Dr. Dominique Damant, Dr. Marnina Gonick, Dr. Holly Johnson. Dr. Cathy Richardson, Dr. Wilfreda Thurston

National Project Coordinator: Maria Callaghan

National Youth Coordinator: Eugenia Canas, Alia El-Tayeb

Formally titled, Promoting Health through Collaborative Engagement with Youth in Canada: Overcoming, Resisting and Preventing Structural Violence, this project was renamed Voices against Violence by our National Youth Advisory Board.

Long recognized as a sociocultural problem, in more recent years, violence has been conceptualized as a significant health concern with long-term consequences for individuals, families and communities. The purpose of this team grant is to examine the subtle and explicit ways in which structural violence is woven into the everyday lives of young people in Canada, how it influences their health, and strategies that can be used by youth to overcome and resist violence. In addition it will evaluate how collaborative engagement with youth can promote health by empowering them to address structural violence in their lives.

Structural violence is a process by which some groups are denied access to resources by systems in place. Our program of research will examine how structural violence is embedded and enacted within different institutional systems (in particular governmental institutions such as health, education, criminal justice, child welfare, social or income security), highlighting how different processes and power dynamics serve to disadvantage particular groups.

Voices against Violence works in partnership with youth using a participatory action approach and through collaboration with a National Youth Advisory Board. This means youth help to shape and develop the design and activities of the project. Their ideas and perspectives guide the work that develops.

Dr. Helene Berman from the School of Nursing at Western University leads Voices against Violence as its Principal Investigator. She collaborates with a team of researchers and knowledge Users and Community Partners from across the country. Our partners in the community bring the perspective of what it’s like to work with these issues in the everyday realities of youth.

Specific objectives are to:

  • Examine how structural forms of violence are defined, understood and experienced by youth.
  • Examine, from the perspectives of youth, how structural violence shapes their health and wellbeing.
  • Examine policies to identify how institutions contribute to the victimization or vulnerability of diverse groups of youth, and how these policies influence them.
  • Analyse the role of media in the lives of youth, paying attention to issues of identity, belonging/exclusion, health and sense of self.
  • Evaluate the use of youth-centered participatory action research as a health promotion strategy

Knowledge translation activities will be incorporated throughout the duration of the grant. Regional and National Roundtables led by youth with knowledge users, policymakers and programmers will be held in the final year. Findings will be shared and discussed in both innovative and more traditional ways with diverse audiences and will contribute to recommendations that organizations and policymakers can use to dismantle barriers to equality, eliminate structural violence, and promote health among youth in Canada

Contact the CIHR Team - Voices Against Violence: Youth Stories Create Change

Dr. Helene Berman
Associate Dean (Research), Faculty of Health Sciences
and Professor, Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing
Western University
London, Ontario N6A 5B9
P 519.661.2111 x88157
F 519.850.2347
E hberman@uwo.ca

Maria Callaghan
National Coordinator
Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing
Western University
London, Ontario N6A B9
P 905-397-6677
E mcallag@uwo.ca

Team Grant on Contexts of Vulnerabilities, Resiliencies and Care among People in the Sex Industry

Principal investigators: Dr. Cecilia Benoit, Mr. Chris Atchison, Ms. Lauren Casey, Dr. Lois Jackson, Dr. Mikael Jansson, Dr. Bill McCarthy, Dr. Rachel Phillips, Mr. Dan Reist, Dr. Frances Shaver, Dr. Patricia Spittal and Dr. Kevin Walby.

The Team Grant links academic researchers and trainees from the medical, health and social sciences, and knowledge users and collaborators from regulatory agencies, health and social services, government, and the non-profit sector. Many team members have formed small cross-disciplinary research clusters previously, but this is the first time their collaboration includes such a wide representation of knowledge users and collaborators, including those from Aboriginal organizations, government, criminal justice, and the health, social welfare and voluntary sectors. We use innovative cross-disciplinary measures of violence and resiliency to study sex work and have co-developed a multi-methods program design with standardized quantitative measures and qualitative explorations.

The team will work collaboratively to: a) identify key factors linked to violence and vulnerabilities in the Canadian sex industry at systems, social, and individual levels; b) estimate the impact of gender on violence-related links between sex workers, clients, romantic partners, supervisors, regulators, and service providers; c) ensure that useful knowledge generated by the research program informs policies and practices aimed at improving the safety and health of sex workers and those they relate to at work and in their personal lives.

The research program consists of 7 interrelated projects unfolding in three stages:

  • Stage 1
    • Project 1: Knowledge Exchange about Violence & Resiliency in the Sex Industry
  • Stage 2
    • Project 2: National Survey of People Working in the Canadian Sex Industry
    • Project 3: Factors Linked to Violence & Resiliency in Sex Workers' Romantic Relationships
    • Project 4: Positioning Sex Buyers in the Nexus of Violence, Gender and Health
    • Project 5: Supervising Sex Work: Challenges to Workplace Safety and Health
    • Project 6: The Effect of Prostitution Law on Vulnerabilities, Resiliencies and Health
  • Stage 3
    • Project 7: Ethnographic Snapshot of the Meanings & Interactions related to Violence, Safety & Health

Contact the Team Grant on contexts of vulnerabilities, resiliencies and care among people in the sex industry:

Cecilia Benoit, PhD – Nominated principal investigator
Professor of Sociology & Graduate Chair
Scientist, Centre for Addictions Research of BC
Telephone: 250-853-3132/250-721-7578
Email: cbenoit@uvic.ca

  • A Two-Pronged Service and Community Mobilization Intervention to Reduce Gender-Based Violence and HIV Vulnerability in Rural South Africa
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