Conference Program

Pre-Conference Workshops

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

Tuesday, March 20, 2018 - 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Facilitator: 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. 

Dr. Dayna Lee-Baggley, Ph.D., is a Registered Clinical Psychologist. She holds a health psychology position at the Nova Scotia Health Authority, a Core Faculty position in the Behaviour Change Institute, an Assistant Professor appointment at Dalhousie University and an Adjunct Professor appointment at Saint Mary’s University. She is a leading expert on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) in Atlantic Canada and is currently the president of the Atlantic Chapter of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (an international association for ACT; She has extensive experience working with couples and is certified in Emotion Focused Therapy for couples ( She brings relevant experience working with individuals in abusive relationships and trauma. She is an experienced trainer and has presented over 45 workshops and presentations to more than 2,500 healthcare providers, researchers, and members of the public.  Dr. Lee-Baggley has an active research program with over 35 peer-reviewed publications and over 110 scholarly presentations.

Restorative Justice and Intimate Partner Violence

Tuesday, March 20, 2018 - 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Facilitator: Tod Augusta-scott

This presentation 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.

Tod Augusta-Scott , MSW, RSW

Tod Augusta-Scott, MSW, RSW

Tod Augusta-Scott is known internationally for his work with domestic violence, restorative approaches and narrative therapy. He has spent over 20 years as the coordinator of Bridges – a domestic violence counselling, research and training institute in Nova Scotia, Canada.  He has published and presented his work internationally (Asia, Europe, British Isles, America) and presented in every province in Canada. He works as a civilian therapist with the Canadian Armed Forces. He has also taught in the Department of Social Work, Dalhousie University and is a guest speaker in classes on a regular basis. 
Tod is the co-editor and contributor to the critically acclaimed books Narrative Therapy: Making Meaning, Making Lives (Sage Publications, 2007) and Innovations in Interventions to Address Intimate Partner Violence: Research and Practice (Routledge Press, 2017). He has created a group manual for working with men who have abused that has been officially adopted by three government departments in Canada.   His work is featured in the documentary A Better Man (2017), a film about domestic violence and restorative justice.

Restorative Justice in Cases of IPV: Are We There Yet?

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Facilitator: Alan Edwards

The possible use of restorative justice (RJ) for cases involving intimate partner violence (IPV) remains controversial. Many communities have placed a moratorium on any RJ in these cases. And still, some promising RJ practices have emerged.

Some of the topics we will address:

·       The intersection of RJ theory and IPV theories

·       How RJ practices can fall short

·       Promising RJ approaches to IPV

·       Victims’ justice needs

·       Offender responsibility

·       Victims’ safety concerns

·       Preparing participants for RJ dialogue

This course will draw from current research, and the trainer’s experience of co-facilitating post-sentence IPV dialogues. 


Alan Edwards has been working in the field of restorative justice (RJ) for 20 years, and is based in Edmonton, Alberta. Since 2004, he has been working exclusively on cases of serious and violent crime, in the Restorative Opportunities Program of Correctional Service Canada. Alan has co-authored five papers on restorative justice and violence and delivered advanced RJ training throughout Canada and the U.S.

He has been co-facilitating cases of intimate partner violence for over 15 years.

Alan is the recipient of the 2016 National Ron Wiebe Restorative Justice Award, which recognizes leadership in the service of justice and peace.

Opening Plenary:  Dr. Holly Johnson

Policing Intimate Partner Violence:  Women's experiences of mandatory charging

Thursday, March 22, 2018 - 8:30 am to 10:00 am

Dr. Holly Johnson

Department of criminology, university of Ottawa

Police and courts have an important role to play in the reduction of intimate partner violence through their potential to denounce the violence and provide safety for victims. Mandatory charging policies are a cornerstone of an aggressive criminal justice response to intimate partner violence, yet there are few evaluations of the impacts of these policies on abused women. An Ontario study examines mandatory charging from the perspectives of abused women, service providers and police. Results show uneven agreement with the policy and suggest that, when broad social supports for victims are absent, it fails to achieve the goals of victim safety and perpetrator accountability.

Dr. Holly Johnson is associate professor in the Department of Criminology, University of Ottawa. She was principal investigator of Statistics Canada's first national survey on violence against women and co-investigator of the International Violence Against Women Survey. Her research examines criminal justice and social responses to sexual violence, intimate partner violence and partner homicide. She is on the advisory committee to the Chief of the Ottawa Police Service on improving the police response to crimes of violence against women and is currently examining the impacts of mandatory charging policies in Ontario from the perspective of women, service providers and police.

Documentary Film Discussion:  A Better Man

Thursday, March 22, 2018 - 6:30 PM to 9:00 pm 


Join us for a wine and cheese event in which the critically acclaimed documentary film A Better Man will be screened, followed by a Q & A session.

Illuminating a unique paradigm for domestic-violence prevention, A Better Man offers a fresh and nuanced look at the healing and revelation that can happen for everyone involved when men take responsibility for their abuse. It also empowers audience members to play new roles in challenging domestic violence, whether it’s in their own relationships or as part of a broader movement for social change.  The film was a Top 20 Audience Favourite at the 2017 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival. Here are just a few of the reviews the film has received:

“The documentary’s cleverness is that it resists the roundness of resolution or catharsis, while also acknowledging that Khan and Steve will always remain some kind of asymmetrical unit.” - The New Yorker

“A call to action for abusive men to stand up and take responsibility for their anger and their actions.”The Guardian

“The film manages to be simultaneously agonizing and hopeful… it is revelatory to know these kinds of [restorative] conversations are possible.”  - Maclean’s Magazine

“A revolutionary documentary.” –

“The documentary is a bold intervention into the systematic ways that women are taught to remain silent about domestic violence while abusers are written off as irredeemably evil.”The Globe and Mail

“A documentary that looks deep into an abusive relationship as it was experienced and continues to linger through the lives of both people involved.”  - Toronto Star

“There is a lot of raw emotion in this film and there is a lot hope. Thank you for making this film.  Thank you very much for being so honest.” - Anna Maria Tremonti, The Current, CBC Radio

Attiya Khan (Co-Writer, Co-Director) is a Toronto-based feminist, intimate partner violence survivor, and long-time advocate and counselor for abused women and children. Attiya conceived the idea for A Better Man in 2012, drawing on her personal and professional experience with intimate partner violence. Attiya has worked in women’s shelters in Canada and the United States, including running the Child and Youth Services Program at Transition House in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She also worked at YWCA Toronto, supporting the communications and advocacy team, managing a training program on crisis intervention, and administering the December 6th Fund, which offers interest-free loans to women fleeing domestic violence. As a writer, activist, and speaker, she has presented at numerous events and conferences related to domestic violence. Together with her family, she recently co-founded a YWCA Toronto scholarship program for domestic violence survivors.

Attiya Khan

Attiya Khan

Keynote Presentation:  Dr. Dawn Memee Lavell-Harvard

Not On the Radar: Intimate Partner Violence and  Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada.

Friday, March 23, 2018 - 8:30 am to 9:45 am

This presentation will explore the complex intersection of racism and sexism in the ‘post-colonial’ context and the resultant appallingly disproportionate rates of violence perpetrated against Indigenous women and girls in Canada. Along with analysis of how the media, the police, and a large portion of society continue to blame the victims, citing their “poor decisions” or “high-risk lifestyles choices,” a discussion on the real root causes of Intimate Partner violence and Indigenous femicide in Canada and a re-examination of commonly referenced data will reveal the ways in which the intersection of racism and sexism, and the resultant discriminatory public policies and practices, have functioned in concert to place Indigenous women in unsafe situations and circumstances for generations now. The analysis concludes with suggestions on ways in which we can use our own activism to act as allies in the struggle to address the crisis of Intimate Partner Violence as well as Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada.

Dr. Dawn Memee Lavell-Harvard is a member of the Wikwemikong First Nation, and former president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada. Following in her mother’s footsteps, she is committed to social justice generally and breaking the cycles of poverty for Aboriginal women and their children specifically. Dawn urges young women to “fight fire with fire” by using their academic achievement to resist colonization and oppression. Dawn is co-editor of two volumes on Indigenous Mothering and an edited collection examining the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada (see above), as well as the mother of three girls. She was the first Aboriginal person to become a Trudeau Scholar and in 2011, Dr. Harvard earned a PhD in education from the University of Western Ontario. Dr. Harvard’s research focuses on addressing achievement gaps and fostering academic success for Aboriginal students. She is currently Director of the First Peoples House of Learning at Trent University and remains committed to grassroots activism as she continues to serve as president of the Ontario Native Women's Association (ONWA) and vice-president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada.

Closing Plenary Panel

Friday, March 23, 2018 - 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM

Innovations in Interventions with Intimate Partner Violence:  Research & Practice

(Click image for publisher's website)

(Click image for publisher's website)

The closing plenary will be the official book launch of Innovations in Innovations in Interventions with Intimate Partner Violence: Research and Practice (Routledge, 2017).  The chapter contributors to the book were all presenters at the Canadian Domestic Violence Conference 4.  The book showcases some of the 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.  The panel will be made up of two of the editors Dr. Katreena Scott and Dr. Leslie Tutty as well as two other contributors Dr. Diane Crocker and Dr. Verona Singer.

Here are some reviews of the book: 
“This book takes a holistic approach to IPV intervention, recognizing that any approach that does not involve researchers and practitioners from multiple systems is bound to fail. The contributors to this volume convincingly demonstrate that the way forward in reducing IPV must be collaborative and interdisciplinary.”
Claire M. Renzetti, PhD, Judi Conway Patton Endowed Chair for Studies of Violence Against Women; professor, chair of Sociology, University of Kentucky
“This exciting new edited volume on domestic violence represents perspectives from a wide range of regions and cultures across Canada. Through the lens of restorative justice, it describes approaches with victims and perpetrators, as well as coordinated community approaches that promote accountability, personal transformation and reconciliation. The editors shine a light on domestic violence in an innovative and hopeful manner.”—Daniel Sonkin, PhD, author, Learning to Live Without Violence: A Handbook for Men; Independent Practice, Sausalito, California
"The authors provide one of the most comprehensive volumes to date on progress and innovation in the prevention of intimate partner violence in Canada. Recognizing the breadth of responses required to reduce this type of violence, leaders across a variety of fields/disciplines provide up-to-date knowledge about legal and social responses and their potential for addressing intimate partner violence. A must-read for both new and established practitioners, researchers, and scholars.”— Myrna Dawson, professor, Canada research chair in Public Policy in Criminal Justice, University of Guelph

“This collection is a major contribution to the vision of ending intimate family violence in Canada and throughout the world. I’ve been in practice for 40 years working with men who use violence. The respectful, collaborative, and creative approach shown in these articles will assist therapists, volunteers, researchers, policy makers, and agencies as we work together to bring peace, justice, and healing to families and communities.”—Dale Trimble, MA (psychology), AEDP Institute, faculty; private practice, Vancouver, BC


Dr. Leslie Tutty

Dr. Leslie Tutty is a professor emerita with the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary where she taught courses in both clinical social work and research. Over the past thirty years, her research has focused on services for domestic violence including evaluations of shelter and post-shelter programs for abused women, support groups for abused women, treatment for adult and child victims of sexual abuse and groups for men who abuse their partners. Her extensive body of research on partner violence spans the perspectives of social services, justice, health and mental health and addresses prevention, intervention and policy


Dr. Katreena Scott

Dr. Katreena Scott is an Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development at the University of Toronto and the Canada Research Chair in Family Violence Prevention and Intervention.  She leads an applied research program aimed at reducing violence in family relationships, with specific expertise is addressing violence perpetration in men and fathers. Dr. Scott is recognized internationally for her intervention work with abusive fathers and nationally for her research on effective interventions for intimate partner violence. The Caring Dads program that she developed, is currently running in many sites across Canada, as well as in the US, UK, Ireland, Wales, Germany and Sweden.

Dr. Diane Crocker

Dr. Diane Crocker is a Professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology at Saint Mary’s University where she teaches research methods and feminist criminology.  Her research areas include restorative justice, violence against women, criminal harassment and the use of law to address social problems, particularly those that disproportionately affect women.

Diane continues to contribute to the development of restorative justice in Nova Scotia and has completed evaluations of several restorative justice projects. Most recently she has completed an evaluation of the domestic violence court in Nova Scotia and is working on a new project relating to “rape culture” and sexual violence on university campuses. 

Dr. Verona Singer

Dr. Verona Singer has a Ph.D. from Dalhousie University and a Masters in Criminology from the University of Ottawa. Verona has worked on issues of intimate partner violence, sexual violence and criminal justice for 30 years.

Verona is the former manager of the Victim Service Unit with the Halifax Regional Police and teaches part-time in the Sociology/Criminology Department at Saint Mary’s University. She is a council member for the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women.

Verona’s research includes the high risk case coordination protocol, gendered violence in HRM, and restorative practices in gendered violence.