Connecting the Dots: Exploring the connection between intimate partner violence and traumatic brain injury (連點成線:探索親密伴侶暴力與腦部創傷的關聯)

11/06/2019 - 11:15 to 11/06/2019 - 12:45
Proposal(Workshop / Presentation)
Coordinating organization: 
Kelowna Women's Shelter
Emerging Issues
Organization Name: 
Kelowna Women's Shelter/University of British Columbia (基洛納婦女庇護所)
Organization Introduction: 
Kelowna Women's Shelter in British Columbia, Canada, offers free emergency and transitional shelter and second stage housing to women and children fleeing intimate partner violence. The organization also provides counselling support, education, and advocacy services to women, children, and youth who have experienced, or are at risk for, violence. Since 2016, the Shelter has been working in partnership with the University of British Columbia (Okanagan) on a groundbreaking, collaborative research study examining the incidence and effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV). The SOAR (Supporting Survivors of Abuse and Brain Injury) Project was recently awarded a $1M grant from the Government of Canada to focus on generating new knowledge about this underserved population, and co-creating and implementing TBI-informed tools and resources for those working in the sector.
Proposer: KMason
Describe your workshop/presentation (300-500 words): 
Although much of the global scientific and health research, and media attention, related to concussion in recent years has centred around professional athletes such as hockey and football players, emerging research indicates the majority of women who have experienced intimate partner violence (IPV) have also experienced traumatic brain injury (TBI). Yet, most women's transitions houses, shelters, and other agencies serving survivors around the world do not regularly screen for TBI, nor take it into account when providing training for staff, or counselling, support, and referrals for clients. This workshop co-presented by Karen Mason, formerly of Kelowna Women's Shelter and Dr. Paul van Donkelaar of University of British Columbia will explore the recent, but growing, body of global research exploring the links between IPV and TBI, with a particular focus on a ground-breaking collaborative research study underway between the University of British Columbia and Kelowna Women's Shelter in Canada. The study is shedding new light on the statistical incidents of TBI in survivors of IPV, and working closely with front line VAW service providers, health care, and brain injury experts to develop and test screening, training and educational tools for workers, and develop a dedicated network of social and medical supports for women who've experienced TBI in IPV. The eventual goal? To educate and train staff to more effectively support survivors as they confront the unique and difficult challenges of living with a brain injury, and ensure better outcomes as they heal and move forward into lives free of abuse. The workshop will not only educate attendees on the prevalence of TBI in IPV, and how the related challenges are likely to manifest with their clients, but will also provide an overview and examples of some tools and best practices in incorporating a TBI-informed lens into their already trauma-informed work with survivors.
All Speakers:
Karen Mason
Karen Mason is Co-founder of SOAR (Supporting Survivors of Abuse and Brain Injury through Research) and former Executive Director of Kelowna Women’ Shelter in British Columbia. Kelowna Women’s Shelter provides emergency and transitional housing, supported second stage housing, counselling support, advocacy, and prevention education to women, and women with children who have experienced gender-based violence. In collaboration with the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus, the Shelter is engaged in the community-based SOAR research project to better understand the intersection of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and intimate partner violence (IPV).

Paul van Donkelaar
Dr. Paul van Donkelaar is Co-founder and Principal Investigator for SOAR (Supporting Survivors of Abuse and Brain Injury through Research), and a Professor in the School of Health and Exercise Sciences at the University of British Columbia's Okanagan campus in Canada. His program of research focusses on the basic mechanisms of sensorimotor control and the cerebrovascular, neurocognitive, and sensorimotor aspects of brain dysfunction resulting from traumatic brain injury (TBI). Since 2016, he has started to focus his research to better understanding brain dysfunction in women who have experienced intimate partner violence-related TBI in collaboration with Kelowna Women’s Shelter through the SOAR (Supporting Survivors of Abuse and Brain Injury through Research) Project.