Thursday, March 22, 2018 - 5:30 Pm - 7:00 PM

 

Comorbid Depression and Substance Abuse in Domestic Homicide

Casey Oliver

This poster presentation will utilize Ontario domestic homicide cases to elucidate the role comorbid depression and substance abuse plays in lethal domestic violence.  Globally up to 38% of murdered women are victims of domestic homicide, which are killings at the hands of current or former intimate partners (World Health Organization, 2016). A common risk factor associated with domestic homicide, and one of the leading mental illnesses afflicting perpetrators of domestic homicide, is depression (Domestic Violence Death Review Committee, 2015). Adding further to the complexities of perpetrator mental health is substance abuse which tends to be high amongst individuals with depression (Rosenbaum & Bennet, 1986). Research has yet to examine the compounding effects of these two mental health conditions in cases of domestic homicide, despite the high incidence rate of co-occurring (comorbid) depression and substance abuse in the general population (Davis et al., 2008).


Exploring Dimensions of Vulnerability in Victims of Domestic Homicide and Domestic Violence

Natalia Musielak

Gender-based violence is rooted in a network of multidimensional constructs encompassing personal, situational, social and cultural elements, as well as the intersectionality of these elements. Current research on victims of domestic violence and domestic homicide has not incorporated the use of this lens and has a tendency to focus on a singular construct as independent and autonomous. The present study explored dimensions of victim vulnerability and their relationship to leaving (separation) and help-seeking behaviours. Cases from the Ontario Domestic Violence Death Review Committee were analyzed to examine the presence of these dimensions and their association to informing actions taken by the victim. Preliminary results suggest different profiles of vulnerability and that unique measures for risk assessment, safety planning and intervention may need to be generated to coordinate improved response that is unique to the needs of vulnerable victims.

About the Presenter:

Natalia Musielak is a current MA Counselling Psychology candidate at Western University (London, Ontario). Under the supervision of Dr. Peter Jaffe, her thesis work is focused on exploring dimensions of vulnerability in victims of domestic violence and domestic homicide. In addition, she is a research assistant at the Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children and holds a BA Joint Honours Degree in Psychology and French from the University of Waterloo.


Policing Domestic Violence in Canada: Victims’ Perceptions of Police Helpfulness

Michael Saxton, Laura Olszowy, Jennifer MacGregor, Barbara MacQuarrie, & Nadine Wathen

 Police responses to domestic violence (DV) are crucial in whether and how those exposed to DV seek help. Therefore, understanding the victim’s perspective is essential to developing policy and practice standards, as well as informing professionals working in policing. In this survey study, we utilized a subset of 2831 people who reported experiencing DV to examine: (a) rates of reporting to the police; (b) experiences with, and perceived helpfulness of, police. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics for close-ended survey questions, and content analysis of text responses. More than 35% of victims reported a violent incident to the police and perceptions of helpfulness were mixed. Text responses provided insights on possible reasons for the variability found in experiences; in particular the proposed role of victim and system expectations, as well as respondents’ perception of getting help depends on “being lucky” with the officials encountered.

About the Presenters:

Michael Saxton is a PhD student at Western University and a Graduate Research Assistant at the Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women and Children. Working under the supervision of Dr. Peter Jaffe, his previous research focus has been on domestic violence (DV) and its impact on the workplace, as well as victims’ experiences with the legal response to DV. Currently his research is focused on understanding the barriers police officers’ face in assessing and managing risk in high-risk DV cases in Ontario, with a particular interest on police response to DV calls when children are present.

Laura Olszowy is a doctoral student in School and Applied Child Psychology at Western University under the supervision of Dr. Peter Jaffe. Her doctoral research focuses on the challenges that child protection workers face in assessing and managing risk, and planning for safety in the lives of children and families impacted by domestic violence.  Her clinical experiences in the social service and education sectors have illuminated the key role that community collaborations have in providing support to those impacted by domestic violence.

Marcie Campbell conducts research on issues related to woman abuse and children exposed to domestic violence, with specific attention to the role of perpetrators and domestic homicide prevention. Marcie was the research assistant for the Domestic Violence Death Review Committee (DVDRC) of Ontario until 2013 when she was appointed committee member. She also served as a research consultant to the evaluation of the Defending Childhood initiative in the U.S. Marcie co-authored with Peter G. Jaffe and David A. Wolfe, the book, Growing up with domestic violence (Hogrefe Publishing, 2012) dealing with children exposed to domestic violence.

Barb MacQuarrie, PhD is the Community Director of the Centre for Research and Education on Violence against Women & Children in the Faculty at Western University. She develops and promotes evidence based education and prevention initiatives involving both community-based and university-based partners. Barb coordinated the first national Canadian study on the impacts of domestic violence on workers and the workplace and she convenes the International Domestic Violence at Work Network.


Risk assessment, risk management and safety planning with vulnerable populations in the context of domestic violence: a survey of Canadian professionals

Laura Olszowy, Mike Saxton, Myrna Dawson, Anna-Lee Straatman, Marcie Campbell

This poster presents an overview of the results from a national survey that examined risk assessment (RA), risk management (RM), and safety planning (SP) practices of various professionals working with four populations identified as experiencing increased vulnerability for domestic homicide: Indigenous populations; immigrants and refugees; rural, remote, and northern populations; and children exposed to domestic violence. A total of 1,405 professionals responded to the survey providing information about their approaches to RA, RM, and SP in the context of domestic violence. Overall, the results of the survey provided information on
the types of RA, RM, and SP available to vulnerable populations and some of the challenges professionals faced in providing service to these professionals.

About the Presenters:

Laura Olszowy is a doctoral student in School and Applied Child Psychology at Western University under the supervision of Dr. Peter Jaffe. Her doctoral research focuses on the challenges that child protection workers face in assessing and managing risk, and planning for safety in the lives of children and families impacted by domestic violence.  Her clinical experiences in the social service and education sectors have illuminated the key role that community collaborations have in providing support to those impacted by domestic violence.

Michael Saxton is a PhD student at Western University and a Graduate Research Assistant at the Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women and Children. Working under the supervision of Dr. Peter Jaffe, his previous research focus has been on domestic violence (DV) and its impact on the workplace, as well as victims’ experiences with the legal response to DV. Currently his research is focused on understanding the barriers police officers’ face in assessing and managing risk in high-risk DV cases in Ontario, with a particular interest on police response to DV calls when children are present.

Myrna Dawson, PhD is a Professor and Canada Research Chair in Public Policy in Criminal Justice, Director of the Centre for the Study of Social and Legal Responses to Violence University of Guelph. She is also Co-Director of the Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative and Project Lead on the recently-launched Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability. She has spent the past 20 years researching social and legal responses to violence with particular emphasis on violence against women and femicide.

Anna-Lee Straatman, PhD is Project Manager for the Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative with Vulnerable Populations. She has several years of project management experience related to the impact of intimate partner violence, prevention, and program evaluation. Anna-Lee has conducted interviews with more than two hundred adult survivors of child sexual abuse, including historical abuse in institutions. Anna-Lee has worked with various victim service agencies developing educational and training materials regarding trauma, domestic violence and other crimes against persons.

Marcie Campbell, PhD is currently the national research coordinator for the Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative with Vulnerable Populations (CDHPIVP). Marcie conducts research on issues related to children exposed to domestic violence and domestic homicide prevention. Since 2006, Marcie has been a member of the Ontario Domestic Violence Death Review Committee (DVDRC). She also served as a research consultant for the evaluation of the Defending Childhood initiative in the U.S. Marcie co-authored the book, “Growing Up with Domestic Violence,” (Hogrefe Publishing, date?), dealing with children exposed to domestic violence


Considerations for Domestic Violence Risk Assessment & Safety Planning: Comparing Risk Factors Between Immigrant & Canadian-Born Victims of Violence

Sakthi Kalaichandran

Recent research has revealed that immigrant & refugee victims experience unique risk factors that may render them more vulnerable to domestic violence. Despite this burgeoning research area, and Canada’s diverse population of 6 million immigrants, there is a dearth of research pertaining to risk factors facing immigrant victims in a Canadian context. Indeed, the shifting sociodemographic profile of Canada's population calls for culturally-informed risk assessment, risk management & safety planning tools to protect as many people as possible from domestic violence & homicide. Therefore, this study investigated factors that pertain to a victim’s vulnerability to violence across immigrant and Canadian-born populations. Although factors such as separation were shared across both demographics, other factors, such as social isolation, featured more prominently in cases of immigrant domestic homicide victims. By identifying these shared and unique characteristics, front line workers & policy makers will be informed of important trends that can influence the creation of research based & culturally-relevant risk assessment, risk management and safety planning strategies.

About the Presenter:

Sakthi Kalaichandran, MA, is conducting research that focuses on  risk factors of domestic homicide in vulnerable populations, specifically those factors that are present in immigrant/refugee populations. She has also developed a policy proposal involving post-conflict peacekeeping initiatives in war torn regions.