2021 Conference

Conference 2021

Preventing domestic homicide: From research and lived experiences to practice

An online conference focusing on the learnings from the Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative with Vulnerable Populations - a research project funded by the Social Sciences Humanities Research Council of Canada.

May 11- 14, 2021 – 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. EST daily

This conference features lessons learned from a 6-year national research project on domestic homicides with a focus on Indigenous, Immigrant and refugee; Rural, remote and northern populations; and Children exposed to domestic violence.  Presenters include project researchers and community partners. 

4 Days of Conference


Tuesday, May 11, 2021 
Making sense of domestic homicide data: Definitions and data 
Definitions of domestic homicide and the subsequent data collected shape our understandings of these deaths as well as policy and prevention efforts. The data collected depends on the thoroughness and cooperation of investigating police officers and coroners or medical examiners. In some cases, the only source of information is media reports and court judgments. This workshop will first explore issues that arise when defining domestic homicide in the context of our work with the Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative with Vulnerable Populations (CDHPIVP) and how these considerations vary across the vulnerable populations examined. Second, we will discuss selected case studies to demonstrate what cases were included and excluded in our work, further illustrating various case characteristics that posed challenges for making such determinations. Third, we will provide a brief overview of trends and patterns in domestic homicide in Canada in general and across the four populations emphasizing the practical challenges and realities of collecting such data and for coordinating data collection efforts across the country. Finally, a moderated expert panel discussion will focus on key issues related to definitions and data for the four populations.

Confirmed Presenters

Myrna Dawson, Centre for the Study of Social and Legal Responses to Violence, University of Guelph
Jordan Fairbairn, King’s University College, Western University
Danielle Sutton, University of Guelph 
Wednesday, May 12, 2021
Barriers and Promising Practices in risk assessment, safety planning and risk management: Learning from front-line service providers

Day 2: Service Providers Perspectives in Domestic Violence Risk Assessment, Safety Planning and Risk Management: The Gap between Knowledge and Practice
Front-line professionals across multiple sectors play a critical role in responding to domestic violence disclosures. Their responses may involve risk assessment and safety planning for victims and risk management strategies with perpetrators. This workshop will outline some of the challenges and accomplishments in our research in completing a national survey of service providers and then in-depth interviews with key informants. Highlights of the major themes from this research will be presented including the results of the survey of 1,405 professional and 366 Key informant interviews. The themes include identifying appropriate risk assessment tools, a lack of training, resources, and collaboration across systems. Challenges are recognized in working with vulnerable communities and individuals. More detailed analyses are provided by sectors including the role of child protection, anti-violence against women services, police, and corrections in working with Indigenous communities, immigrant and refugee families, rural and remote communities and children exposed to domestic violence. A panel of service providers will reflect on the meaning of these research findings with their service sector, jurisdiction and populations served.

Confirmed Presenters

Peter Jaffe, Centre for Research & Education on Violence against Women & Children, Western University
Marcie Campbell, York University
Mary Aspinall, University of New Brunswick
Misha Maitreyi, University of New Brunswick
Meghan Gosse, Saint Mary’s University
Diane Crocker, Saint Mary’s University
Dolly Mosher, Halifax Regional Police Service
Abir AL Jamal, Muslim Resource Centre for Social Support and Integration

Thursday, May 13, 2021 
Learning from Missed Opportunities to Prevent Homicides: Listening to the voices of survivors and victims 

Women and children across Canada who live with domestic violence may be at risk of severe violence and domestic homicide. Many women and children have been killed – others have survived. There are opportunities to learn from survivors about what worked. There are opportunities to learn from friends and family members who lost someone to domestic homicide as to what might have been done differently with hindsight. This session will offer insights from interviews conducted with survivors of domestic violence and loved ones of homicide victims. These women and children often had to negotiate safety and managed risk on a daily basis and their experiences when seeking help is critical to understand – especially based on their social identity, location and other factors.

Confirmed Presenters

Anna-Lee Straatman, Centre for Research & Education on Violence against Women & Children, Western University
Julie Poon, Centre for Research & Education on Violence against Women & Children, Western University
Angie Hutchinson, Survivor’s Hope Crisis Centre
Renee Hoffart, University of Manitoba
Zoe Hilton, Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care
Alexis Winfield, Western University
Pertice Moffitt, Aurora College
Alana Glecia, PhD candidate, University of Saskatchewan

Friday, May 14, 2021
Translating knowledge into practice

Workshop 1: Canadian domestic violence death review committees: emerging challenges and barriers to implementing recommendations.
As of 2021, seven Canadian provinces have developed domestic violence death review committees to provide an in-depth review of domestic homicides. These reviews are intended to identify risk factors prior to the homicide, previous community and justice interventions and potential missed opportunities to intervene. The reviews offer recommendations on how to prevent deaths in the future in similar circumstances. DVDRCs are at different stages of development in Canada with multiple models for exploring these homicides. The workshop will highlight challenges to developing and sustaining these committees and barriers to monitoring implementation of recommendations.

Confirmed Presenters

Myrna Dawson, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Public Policy in Criminal Justice and Director of the Centre for the Study of Social and Legal Responses to Violence, University of Guelph
Peter Jaffe, Academic Director, Centre for Research & Education on Violence against Women & Children, Western University
Deidre Bainbridge, Chair, Ontario Domestic Violence Death Review Committee, Office of the Chief Coroner
Stéphanie Gamache, avocate, B.Sc., Coroner, Quebec Bureau du coroner
Jerome Ouellette, Chief Coroner, Department of Justice & Public Safety , NB

Workshop 2: Implications for prevention: evidence- based practice, challenges and next steps
From 2015 to 2021, the Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative has focused on identifying risk assessment, risk management and safety planning strategies that are unique to Indigenous, immigrant and refugee, rural, remote, and northern communities, and children exposed to domestic violence. The Preventing domestic homicide: From research and lived experiences to practice conference highlights these findings, which can inform frontline practice. The workshop builds on the conference by inviting practitioners to participate in a discussion regarding challenges that arise from ongoing systemic or social issues that impede change, as well as to deliberate next steps for research and practice.

Conference Features

  • French interpretation and closed captioning 
  • Virtual Healing Room supported by Elders, social workers and counsellors
  • A limited number of free registrations to members of the BIPOC community and domestic violence survivors

Registration Opens Soon!

Registrations are open!

Registration Fee: $50 ($CAN)

A limited number of scholarships will be made available to those in the BIPOC community and domestic violence survivors. Details will be made available on the registration page.
>>>>>>>>>>>>The scholarship registration is now closed.
We are pleased to announce that 50 scholarships have been awarded to members of the BIPOC community.  
Conference Cancellation Policy
Should the need to cancel your registration arise, a refund of your registration fee less 20 % administrative fee can be provided. Any cancellations received after May 1st, will not receive a refund. 


Domestic violence survivors, research participants, social service providers, justice sector workers, health workers, community partners and collaborators, students, researchers, policy makers.


This project has been supported by more than 70 collaborators and partner organizations – many of whom will be making presentations during this conference. 

For a list of collaborators and partners: http://www.cdhpi.ca/partnership-members.

Presenters also include Project Directors, Co-investigators and researchers.

Project Directors and Co-Investigators

Myrna Dawson, University of Guelph
Peter JaffeWestern University
Diane Crocker, Saint Mary’s University
Myriam Dubé, Université du Québec à Montréal
Jordan Fairbairn, King's, Western University
Sepali Guruge, Ryerson University
Catherine Holtmann, Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research
Julie Kaye, University of Saskatchewan
Nicole Letourneau, RESOLVE Alberta
Pertice Moffitt, North Slave Research Centre/ Aurora Research Institute
Kendra Nixon, University of Manitoba
Cathy Richardson/Kinewesquao, Concordia University
Kate Rossiter, Simon Fraser University and Ending Violence Association of British Columbia
Katreena L. Scott, Western University