Conference Speakers

Feature Speakers (to date):

Mohammed Baobaid, Muslim Resource Centre for Social Support and Integration
Mohammed Baobaid, PhD, earned his doctoral degree from the institute of Psychology at the University of Erlangen Nurnberg in Germany and is currently the Executive Director and founder of the Muslim Resource Centre for Social Support and Integration in Canada (MRCSSI). Dr. Baobaid has been instrumental in initiating research elements in works related to violence prevention including family violence and youth violence. For 30 years he has conducted research to identify challenges of working with victims of family violence and developing culturally appropriate responses to family and youth violence in Yemen and Canada.

Kukdookaa Terri Brown, Member of Survivors Circle, National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation
Terri Brown is past Chief of the Tahltan Band in Telegraph Creek, B.C.  She is a mother to two sons and a daughter and gramma to 4 grand daughters.  Her father was a trapper and her mother raised the family.  The remote rugged area contributes to the strength of her people with strong ties to a traditional and spiritual life.  At the age of ten Terri and her brother were taken from the family and placed in separate Indian Residential Schools contributing to a life of brokenness and a search for healing. When Terri was President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada she initiated the world renowned “Sisters in Spirit Campaign”. This brought attention to the missing and murdered Aboriginal Women in Canada. This is one of her many contributions to equality and justice for Indigenous Women and girls. Terri’s baby sister Ada Brown was killed in Prince George, BC bringing the issue close to home and a commitment to bring change for life givers. Terri served 6 years on the Survivors Committee with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.  The resiliency and strength of the other survivor members gave Terri the courage to stay with the committee to the end.  Currently, Terri serves on the Survivors Circle with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. While Terri has travelled the world her heart is in her territory with her Tahltan People and her beloved family. Terri has a BA in Economics and Linguistics from Simon Fraser University and she is a survivor.

Myrna Dawson, Director, Centre for the Study of Social and Legal Responses to Violence, University of Guelph; Co-Director, Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative with Vulnerable Populations 
Myrna Dawson is a Canada Research Chair in Public Policy in Criminal Justice and Professor, Department of Sociology & Anthropology, University of Guelph. Funded by the Canadian Foundation of Innovation, she established and serves as Director for the Centre for the Study of Social and Legal Responses to Violence ( Her research focuses on social and legal responses to violence with particular emphasis on violence against women, femicide, intimate partner violence and homicide. Myrna is Co-Director of the SSHRC funded partnership grant: Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative with Vulnerable Populations.   

Deborah Doherty, Executive Director, Public Legal Education and Information Service of New Brunswick
Dr. Deborah Doherty earned her Ph.D. in the social sciences from McGill University and is currently Executive Director of Public Legal Education and Information Service of New Brunswick. She has been actively engaged in family violence research and programming for nearly 30 years. Dr. Doherty was co-principal researcher on a participatory action research team examining family violence on the farm and in rural communities, including firearms victimization and pet abuse. A member of NB’s Silent Witness Project, her research on female domestic homicide analyzes risks factors in a rural context and promotes solutions that challenge a predominantly urban-centric perspective.

Claudette Dumont-Smith, Former President, Native Women's Association of Canada
Claudette Dumont-Smith is from Kitigan Zibi, the largest Algonquin community located in the province of Quebec, located 125 km north of Ottawa.  She worked in her community in the health field for approximately 10 years, first as a Community Health Representative (CHR) and then as a Community Health Nurse.  Claudette was appointed the first executive director of the Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada and served as a member of the Aboriginal circle of the Canadian Panel on Violence Against Women, a blue ribbon panel initiated by the Government of Canada in 1991, Associate Commissioner for the National Aboriginal Child Care Commission of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, formerly known as the Native Council of Canada, and was appointed as a Commissioner on the Indian Residential School Commission for one year. Ms. Dumont-Smith retired as Executive Director of the Native Women’s Association of Canada in 2016.  She currently sits as a board member on the  Community Advisory Council of the Waakebiness-Bryce Institute for Aboriginal Health, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto and the on the Centre D’Innovation des Premiers Nations - Gatineau, QC. Ms. Dumont-Smith holds her Master's degree in Public Administration from Queen's University, Kingston and also holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Québec, Gatineau.

Sepali Guruge, Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing Research Chair in Urban Health
Dr. Sepali Guruge obtained her education in Sri Lanka, the former Soviet Union, and Canada. She focused her doctoral dissertation in Nursing at the University of Toronto on the influence of gender, racial, social, and economic inequalities on the production of and responses to intimate male partner violence in the post-migration context. Her post-doctoral work at the University of Western Ontario examined the effects of intimate partner violence on women’s health. Using a number of approaches, including social determinants of health, ecosystemic frameworks, and feminist theoretical perspectives, Dr. Guruge conducts research focused on immigrant women’s health. In particular, she examines violence against women throughout the migration process (i.e., pre-migration, border-crossing, and post-migration contexts). She also co-leads the Nursing Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children at Ryerson University.

Dawn Lavell-Harvard, PhD
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 breaking cycles of poverty for Aboriginal women and their children. Dawn urges young women to “fight fire with fire” by using their academic achievement to resist colonization and oppression. Dawn is co-editor of “Until Our Hearts Are on the Ground: Aboriginal Mothering, Oppression, Resistance and Rebirth,” and the mother of three girls. She was the first Aboriginal person to receive a Trudeau Scholarship. In 2011, Dr. Harvard earned a PhD in education from the University of Western Ontario where she is currently an adjunct professor. 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 involved as president of the Ontario Native Women's Association (ONWA).

Zoe Hilton, Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care
Dr. N. Zoe Hilton is Senior Research Scientist at Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care. For the past 25 years, Zoe has worked both as a front-line clinician and as a full-time researcher. She conducts research that pertains to offenders, psychiatric patients and the professionals who provide services for them. Her major research products have been in the area of domestic violence, risk assessment, and risk communication including the Ontario Domestic Assault Risk Assessment (ODARA).  She is currently a co-investigator in a SSHRC-funded partnership development project led by Sandy Jung of MacEwan University and involving Alberta’s Integrated Threat and Risk Assessment Centre (ITRAC) and Carleton University, examining the use of domestic violent risk assessment in threat assessment. She is also a community collaborator in the Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative with Vulnerable Populations.

Margaret Jackson, FREDA Centre, School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University
Dr. Margaret Jackson is the Director and Co-founder of the FREDA Centre in the School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University, part of a national network of centres undertaking research on violence against women and children issues. She is a Professor Emerita with, and past Director of, the School of Criminology at SFU.  She is also past Director of the Institute for Studies in Criminal Justice Policy at SFU. In the latter capacity, she co-authored reports for the Canadian Sentencing Commission, the Commonwealth of Ministers, and the Federal Auditor General.  Currently  she  is  a  member  of  the  Community  Coordination  for  Women’s  Safety (CCWS) committee and past member of the BC Coroners 2016 Death Review Panel on Domestic Violence Homicide Cases.  Other research involves projects with the BC Society of Transition Houses and BC Non-Profit Housing Society; and the Centre for Education, Law and Society at SFU.  She has authored or co-authored numerous articles and reports in the areas of violence against women and children, justice system policy, cyberbullying and bullying, and court processes.

Peter Jaffe, Academic Director, Centre for Research & Education on Violence against Women & Children, Western University
Dr. Peter Jaffe is a psychologist and Professor in the Faculty of Education at Western University. He is also the Academic Director of the Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women & Children. Many of his publications and professional presentations deal with domestic violence, the impact of domestic violence on children, and child custody and access disputes. Since 1999, he has been on faculty for the National Council of Juvenile & Family Court Judges in the US for judicial education programs. In 2009, he was named an Officer in the Order of Canada by the Governor General for his work preventing domestic violence in the community. Peter is Co-Director of the SSHRC funded Partnership grant: Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative with Vulnerable Populations. 

Randy Kropp, Forensic Psychiatric Services Commission, British Columbia
Dr. Kropp is a clinical and forensic psychologist specializing in the assessment and management of violent offenders. He works for the Forensic Psychiatric Services Commission of British Columbia, Canada, is a research consultant with the British Columbia Institute against Family Violence, and is Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Simon Fraser University. He has conducted numerous workshops for mental health professionals, police officers, corrections staff, and others in North America, Australia, Asia, Africa, and Europe focused on risk for violence, psychological assessments and criminal harassment (stalking). He has frequently consulted with provincial, state, and federal government ministries on matters related to violence against women and children, and the assessment and treatment of violent offenders. He has published numerous journal articles, book chapters, and research reports, and he is co-author to several works on risk assessment, including the Manual for the Spousal Assault Risk Assessment Guide, the Manual for the Sexual Violence Risk – 20, and the Risk for Sexual Violence Protocol (RSVP).

The Honourable Donna Martinson Q.C.
Donna Martinson was a judge for 21 years both with the British Columbia Supreme Court and Provincial Court.  She dealt with criminal law and family law cases in both courts. Before becoming a judge she practiced criminal law, both as Crown and defence counsel, and family law, for 14 years in Calgary, Alberta and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1986.  She obtained her Master of Law degree from Cambridge University, England, in 1987.  She taught criminal law at what is now the Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia from 1989-1991.  Now she volunteers her time in a number of ways. She: is an Honorary Visitor at the Allard School of Law, and is associated with the FREDA Centre for Research on Violence against Women and Children; is a member of the B.C. Community Coordination for Women’s Safety (CCWS) committee; co-chairs the CBABC’s Children’s Law Committee; and is on the Board of the newly created Rise Women’s Legal Centre.  She was a member of the BC Coroners 2016 Death Review Panel on Domestic Violence Homicide Cases. She has received the University of Alberta’s Distinguished Alumni Award; the B.C. Trial Lawyers Bench Award and, in June 2016, CBABC’s Equality and Diversity Award.

Mariann Rich
Mariann is a recently retired nursing professor, having spent almost twenty years in undergraduate nursing education following practice in acute care and community health as an RN. Mariann grew up in a large family on a Saskatchewan farm.  Mariann’s family experienced the unthinkable in the Fall of 2014: one of her sisters was murdered by her spouse.  Very very few people knew of the domestic turmoil happening behind closed doors leaving a family and rural community in shock. Mariann shares her perspective on this tragedy and the need to break the silence on domestic abuse. 

Neil Websdale, National Domestic Violence Fatality Review Initiative
Professor Neil Websdale is Director of the newly formed Family Violence Institute at Northern Arizona University and Director of the National Domestic Violence Fatality Review Initiative (NDVFRI). His social policy work involves helping establish networks of domestic violence fatality review teams across the United States and elsewhere. His extensive fatality review work has contributed to NDVFRI receiving the prestigious 2015 Mary Byron Foundation Celebrating Solutions Award. He has also worked on issues related to community policing, full faith and credit, and risk assessment and management in domestic violence cases. Dr. Websdale trained as a sociologist at the University of London, England and currently lives and works in Flagstaff, Arizona.