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.

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 (www.violenceresearch.ca). 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.

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.

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).

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 sister’s 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 share’s 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.