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Networking the grassroots domestic violence movement from across Canada.

The Canadian Domestic Violence Conference 5 is a national showcase of ground-breaking grassroots initiatives that address intimate partner violence.  This vital conference, held every two years, will feature influential presenters who are bringing about change in community-based groups, academics and government agencies. An extensive array of participating organizations include women’s shelters, women’s centres, Partner Assault Response (PAR) programs, men’s treatment programs, family therapists, restorative justice facilitators, probation offices, police, crown prosecutors, judges, victim services officers, children mental health workers, child protection workers, addiction counselors, health care workers, clergy, educators and others engaged in direct service. The ultimate goal of this progressive and formative conference is to strengthen and enrich those individuals who confront domestic violence and to challenge the current social determinants of domestic violence.

The CDVC5 has been specifically designed to foster knowledge in bringing about effective interventions and conversations with women, men and children dealing with domestic violence in various professional contexts.  While primarily emphasizing men’s violence against women, this Conference will also focus conversations on the margins of the field, such as violence in same-sex relationships; violence with people with disabilities; in aboriginal relationships; first generation immigrant relationships; and straight women’s perpetration of abuse.  To address the diversity among women, the conference will explore conversations with women who want to leave, women who are ambivalent about their relationships and women who know they want to stay. This broad range of discussions will include individual, couple, family and group conversations.

This year, the CDVC5 will highlight trailblazing community initiatives designed to challenge social determinants of domestic violence.  While primarily challenging sexism, the Conference will also focus on how the field is challenging key issues such as racism, poverty, homophobia, and ableism.

The CDVC5 committee is feminist, welcomes the sharing of diverse ideas, and selects presentations on the basis of the quality of the presentation proposal.

The mandate of the Conference is to move the field forward, and therefore encourages participants and presenters to highlight and share innovative approaches that are developing in the various communities across Canada.

Dr. Holly Johnson

Dr. Holly Johnson

Opening Plenary Speaker

March 22, 2018

The Canadian Domestic Violence Conference is thrilled to welcome the University of Ottawa's Dr. Holly Johnson as our opening plenary speaker.

Dr. Johnson will speak about Policing intimate partner violence:  Women’s experiences of mandatory charging.

More detail about Dr. Johnson and her topic is located on the Conference Program page.

Attiya Khan , co-writer & co-director

Attiya Khan, co-writer & co-director

Documentary Film Discussion:

A Better Man

March 22, 2018

Co-director Attiya Khan will screen her documentary film, A Better Man and afterward, she will discuss making the film and the campaign it supports during a Q&A session.

The film demonstrates the possibilities that can emerge for a woman when the man who abused her takes responsibility to stop his abuse and repair the harms he has created.  

Visit the Conference Program page for more details.


Dr. Dawn Memee Lavell-Harvard

Dr. Dawn Memee Lavell-Harvard

Keynote Presentation

March 23, 2018

To open the second day of the Canadian Domestic Violence Conference, we're honoured to welcome Dr. Dawn Memee Lavell-Harvard for a keynote presentation. Her topic is:  Not On the Radar: Intimate Partner Violence and  Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada.

More detail about Dr. Lavell-Harvard  and her presentation is located on the Conference Program page.

(Clockwise)  Dr. Leslie Tutty ,  Dr. Katreena Scott ,  Dr. Verona Singer  &  Dr. Diane Crocker

(Clockwise) Dr. Leslie Tutty, Dr. Katreena Scott, Dr. Verona Singer & Dr. Diane Crocker

Closing Plenary Panel

March 23, 2018

In the closing plenary, editors and contributors, Dr. Katreena Scott and Dr. Leslie Tutty will present their ground-breaking book, Innovations in Interventions with Intimate Partner Violence: Research and Practice (Routledge, 2017).  All the chapters were written by authors who presented their work at past Canadian Domestic Violence Conferences.  They will be joined by two contributors, Dr. Diane Crocker and Dr. Verona Singer. The book showcases leading innovations in the field of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) from across the country.  The panel will focus on the various topic areas in the book such as responding to women who have been abused, responding to men who have abused, legal responses to IPV; restorative approaches to IPV as well as other systemic responses to the issue.

For more details on the Closing Plenary Panel and its members, visit the Conference Program page.


Pre-Conference Workshops

Dr. Dayna Lee-Baggley

Dr. Dayna Lee-Baggley

March 20, 2018

Acceptance & Commitment therapy (ACT) with Women Who Experience Abuse

Dr. Dayna Lee-Baggley

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is an empirically supported intervention that represents the newest developments in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CTB). This workshop will provide experiential exercises and practical skills on using ACT for domestic violence. The intended audience is direct service workers in domestic violence. Participants will learn how to use ACT to help victims of domestic violence, such as managing the barriers that keep individuals from leaving abusive partners, understanding the reasons why individuals stay in abusive relationships, and managing the shame, depression, anxiety and fear experienced in abusive relationships. Participants will also learn how to manage the experiences and stress of being a direct service worker in the area of domestic violence. 

Tod Augusta-Scott

Tod Augusta-Scott

March 20, 2018

Restorative Justice and Intimate Partner Violence

Tod Augusta-Scott

In this presentation, Tod will focus on using feminism, narrative therapy and restorative justice in the field of intimate partner violence.   A restorative approach defines just outcomes as healing and repairing the harms done to women.  The process restores women’s safety, respect and equality.  This workshop will illustrate one part of a larger process: working with men to prepare them to engage restoratively.  Men are invited to engage in helping the women they have harmed achieve just outcomes.  Tod will explore the use of externalizing conversations, re-authoring identity as a means to have men take greater responsibility to stop the abuse and repair the harms they have created.  The presentation will be illustrated with role play and video of client sessions.

Alan Edwards

Alan Edwards

March 21, 2018

Restorative JUstice in cases of IPV:  Are we there yet?

Alan Edwards

The Canadian Domestic Violence Conference is pleased to welcome Alan Edwards for this informative pre-conference workshop.

With a rich background in the field of restorative justice, Alan will draw from current research and his experience of co-facilitating post-sentence IPV dialogues over the course of this one-day professional development opportunity.

Full details of the workshop can be found on the Conference Program Page.

For a full description of the conference program & events, visit:

Welcome to Nova Scotia


Located on Canada's east coast on the shores of the North Atlantic, Halifax has a strong Maritime tradition and is one of North America's oldest cities.  At the same time, it also has a modern urban core with much to offer for conference attendees and their guests.



Conference Venue

nova centre

The conference venue is perfectly located in downtown Halifax. It's a modern facility with all of the amenities one would expect in a premier conference centre. 

It's also within easy walking distance of major hotels, shops, restaurants and the Halifax waterfront.

Travel to Halifax


Halifax is home to a modern, award-winning airport located about thirty minutes from downtown.  Direct flights from most major cities on the eastern seaboard are available. Check the News page as the conference grows nearer for updates on the best and most affordable ground transportation options.



While Halifax has a wide variety of sights for visitors to experience, the province of Nova Scotia offers some spectacular sight-seeing options.  Within a half hour drive of downtown, you can experience the rugged beauty of Peggy's Cove or explore small fishing villages.  Staying longer?  Explore the gorgeous landscape of the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton!  For more about travel around Nova Scotia, visit here.

US Exchange Rate


Our Canadian pain is your American gain.  The exchange rate on the two currencies strongly favours (or perhaps, favors) the American conference visitor - at the moment, in the range of thirty percent.  If there was ever a time for our US friends to attend our event, this is it!

Food & Drink


While in Halifax, you'll have numerous options to satisfy your palate.  There's a wide range of restaurants and bars in the city and a growing number that focus on local products.  If you're a beer lover, there are a variety of brew pubs with a vast array of locally made beer.



Yes, there are shopping malls in the Halifax area.  But there are also numerous independent shops and stores offering unique and locally-made products.  Take a walk along Spring Garden Road, or some detours elsewhere to discover some of the small businesses off the beaten path.  In the conference handbook, we'll list a few of our favourites for you to consider during your visit.