April 2019 saw the conclusion of PreVAiL’s funding. This site will be sustained through 2019 to allow ongoing access to key PreVAiL documents and links. Thank you for visiting, and for your interest in preventing violence across the lifespan.

To view a summary of our Final Report, click here: PreVAiL Canada Final Summary.

PreVAiL team led by Andrea Gonzalez funded to trial the Triple P Parenting Program

From left: Dr. Paul O’Byrne; Dr. Andrea Gonzalez, Hon. Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Hon. Filomena Tassi; Tina Depko, used with permission.

On December 3, 2018, Canada’s Health Minister, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, announced new funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada for research targeting prevention of child maltreatment and teen dating violence. The research will be led by PreVAiL’s Dr. Andrea Gonzalez of McMaster University’s Offord Centre for Child Studies and its Promoting Healthy Families project, and co-led by Dr. Harriet MacMillan, PreVAiL co-principal investigator.

The current project aims to address gaps in the evidence about the effectiveness of The Triple P – Positive Parenting Program, an integrative preventive intervention that aims to promote healthy family relationships, reduce rates of serious social-emotional and behavioural problems in children and reduce the level of child maltreatment in the community. This will be done in two provinces – Ontario and Manitoba, and will include the first international large-scale evaluation of the Baby Triple P – which aims to support new mothers starting shortly after birth.

Partners include researchers from the University of Manitoba, members from the PreVAiL network, and partners including Public Health Ontario, the Institute of Clinical Evaluative Sciences, and Manitoba Health Policy Centre.

The research will begin in December, 2018 and run through March, 2023 – more information can be found here.

Congratulations Andrea, Harriet and team!

DV@WorkNet Releases Research Briefs

Findings from two Canadian studies on the impacts of domestic violence on workers and workplaces are now available in a series of seven research briefs. The production of the Briefs was supported by PreVAiL, as part of its work in mobilizing knowledge to policy and practice audiences. Thanks to Dr. Jen MacGregor, Senior Research Associate, for her design, as well as research, skills! Download the briefs here.

For more information, visit:

PreVAiL Member Tracie Afifi  is 2018 Winner of The Royal-Mach-Gaensslen Prize for Mental Health Research

We’re delighted to congratulate Tracie on this prestigious award! Please see a brief video describing Tracie’s work in the area of child maltreatment and mental health.

PreVAiL Members Anchor Panel on Ontario Child Health Survey Findings

Five PreVAiL members presented a panel at the XXII Congress of International Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) in Prague, Czech Republic on Tuesday, September 4, 2018. Titled “The Pervasive Impacts of Child Maltreatment: Results from the 2014 Ontario Child Health Study (OCHS) and Implications for Identification and Response” and chaired by Dr. Melissa Kimber, the session examined various data from the OCHS specific to exposure to child maltreatment.

From left: Drs. Jill McTavish, Lil Tonmyr, Andrea Gonzalez, Tracie Afifi and Melissa Kimber.

WHO’s Division of Sexual and Reproductive Health releases new resources

Dr. Claudia Garcia-Moreno at meetingThe World Health Organization’s Division of Sexual and Reproductive Health, a key PreVAiL partner, has released a number of new resources on intimate partner and sexual violence against women, available below.

These were discussed on December 7, 2017 at a meeting in Geneva, attended by several PreVAiL members, including lead author Dr. Claudia Garcia-Moreno (pictured at centre).

To access the new resources, follow the links below.

1. “Strengthening health systems to respond to women subjected to intimate partner violence or sexual violence: A manual for health managers

2. Updated fact sheet on violence against women.

3. Infographics on violence against women.

4. An animation video on the health sector response to violence against women

WHO Child Maltreatment Guideline Development Group meets

WHO Child Maltreatment Guidelines GroupThe World Health Organization’s (WHO) Child Maltreatment Guideline Development Group met during the week of December 4 in Geneva to finalize its evidence-based guidelines on child maltreatment. PreVAiL co-lead Dr. Harriet MacMillan co-chaired the Group, with Dr. Bernadette Madrid. The evidence syntheses will also form the foundation of guidance being developed in our VEGA Project (see

PreVAiL Co-Hosts International Meeting with WHO’s Violence Prevention Alliance

On October 18, 2017, we co-hosted a meeting with the WHO’s VPA in Ottawa.  This was a side-meeting to the WHO’s 8th Milestones Meeting on Violence Prevention.  A number of PreVAiL Researchers and Partners participated in PreVAiL Panels on emerging issues in family violence, including Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), and innovations in interventions for intimate partner violence.  Please visit the Resources page for the slide decks.

PreVAiL also held it’s Business Meeting to plan for our next two years of activity.  The Agenda and Summary are available.

PreVAiL Receives New Funding!

PreVAiL has been funded to 2019 by the Public Health Agency of Canada.  We will continue to facilitate high quality research in the area of family violence, and national and international networking, while also focusing more specifically on knowledge mobilization, especially to assist Canadian public policy.

PreVAiL Co-Lead Dr. Harriet MacMillan receives Order of Canada

On February 17, 2017, our own Harriet MacMillan received the Order of Canada from His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada. The citation can be read at: Congratulations, Harriet!

Photo Credit: Sgt Johanie Maheu, Rideau Hall
©Her Majesty The Queen in Right of Canada represented by the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General, 2017

PreVAiL Partnership Project Phase 2 Report released

PreVAiL, as part of its commitment to understanding the science of knowledge translation and exchange, has continually evaluated the evolution of the Network, especially the impacts on, and experiences of, our partners. PreVAiL, led by KTE expert Dr. Anita Kothari, recently released its latest, Phase 2 report.

Phase 2 Report 2016 (PDF)

Upcoming CRDCN Webinar Series with Tracie Afifi

Featuring Tracie Afifi, De8partment of Community Health Sciences, University of Manitoba.

October 13, 2016: Child Abuse in Canada: a fact sheet
2:00 – 3:15 pm (ET)
Register online at:
Download the event poster (pdf)

November 7, 2016: Recovering from Child Abuse: What Factors Make for Better Mental Health Outcomes in Adulthood?
2:00 – 3:15 pm (ET)
Register online at:
Download the event poster (pdf)

John Fluke and Lil Tonmyr win ISPCAN Distinguished Service Award

Lil Tonmyr and John Fluke receiving their awardsPreVAiL members John Fluke and Lil Tonmyr were awarded ISPCAN Distinguished Service Awards in August 2016. The International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect awards the Distinguished Service Award to recognize an individual for his or her commitment and dedication to ISPCAN or to an ISPCAN Country Partner.

PreVAiL Releases Spring 2016 Progress Report

Read about PreVAiL’s accomplishments,including a number of new research and knowledge translation activities. The Report also provides information and links to the over 100 different publications and reports, and dozens of presentations and other outputs of our work.

See the report (pdf).

VEGA Project: A Public Health Response to Family Violence – UPDATE

We’re very happy to announce the launch of the VEGA Project website. Please visit: to learn more about the project, and read our Project Activities blog for recent updates.

You can also follow the project on Twitter @VEGA_Canada.

Evidence Syntheses

Harriet MacMillan, Nadine Wathen, Masako Tanaka with PreVAiL partners Christopher Mikton, Claudia Garcia-Moreno, Alessandra Guedes from WHO continue working on the project to identify and refine a list of priorities for IPV prevention research and develop specific research proposals for three urgent research for low and middle income countries. This will serve as a basis for the works by the WHO Violence Prevention Alliance (VPA) in this area. This project is funded through a philanthropic funding broker ($60,000, 2014-16) and expected to complete in spring 2016.

Tracie Afifi authors piece in Maclean’s on Spanking

PreVAiL researcher Dr. Tracie Afifi authored a January 2016 piece for Macleans’s Magazine titled “The case against spanking”. See

Picturing Wellness: An Art Exhibit and Conference (March 2016)

PreVAiL member Dr. Christine Wekerle will be co-hosting a conference on adversity and resilience with a unique arts aspect. The Art Exhibit runs from December 17, 2015 to March 19, 2016, with a 3-day conference being held March 3-5, 2016. Special guests include Sheldon Kennedy and Project T.E.A.R. See for more information.

NEW Research Alerts on NFP-IPV Intervention Now Available in French and English

Six research alerts linked to the PreVAiL-led randomized controlled trial of the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Intervention are now available.  Thanks to funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada, the first three have also been translated into French. Visit our Resources page to access the full text.

These alerts, formatted to provide a high level overview of key issues related to aspects of the NFP nurse home visiting program, primary prevention of child maltreatment, prevention of IPV in the home, and key maternal and child health outcomes, are drawn from our ongoing work in this area.

For more details about the NFP-IPV Intervention, please see the following free publication led by PreVAiL Researcher Susan Jack and involving a number of PreVAiL members:

Jack SM, Ford-Gilboe M, Wathen CN, et al. Development of a nurse home visitation intervention for intimate partner violence. BMC Health Services Research. 2012;12:50.DOI 10.1186/1472-6963-12-50.

New PreVAiL Publications

Findings from several PreVAiL projects have recently been published, including:

1) PreVAiL co-PIs Donna Stewart and Harriet MacMillan, along with PreVAiL partner Alessandra Guedes and colleagues Raquel Aviles and Ekaterina Riazantseva have published an analysis of clinical and policy guidelines for IPV and sexual violence against women. The free full text is available at the link in the citation, below:

Stewart, D., Aviles, R., Guedes, A., Riazantseva, E., MacMillan, H. Latin American and Caribbean countries’ baseline clinical and policy guidelines for responding to intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women. BMC Public Health 2015, 15:665 DOI 10.1186/s12889-015-1994-9

2) PreVAiL co-PI Nadine Wathen, with Research Associate Jen MacGregor, have published the first peer reviewed paper arising from their ground-breaking study on the impact of domestic violence on workers and workplaces, freely available at the link in the citation, below:

Wathen, CN, MacGregor, JCD, MacQuarrie, BJ. The Impact of Domestic Violence in the Workplace: Results From a Pan-Canadian Survey. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, 2015, 57(7):e65–71. DOI 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000499

3) PreVAiL trainee Kat Kolar, with members Farah Ahmad and Pat Erickson and colleague Linda Chan have published a novel analytic method called `timeline mapping`, applied to a study of resilience among marginalized groups. It is freely available from the link below:

Kat Kolar, K, Ahmad, F, Chan, L, Erickson, PG. Timeline Mapping in Qualitative Interviews: A Study of Resilience with Marginalized Groups. International Journal of Qualitative Methods 2015, 14(3).

4) PreVAiL co-PIs Nadine Wathen and Harriet MacMillan use the PreVAiL partnership model as an exemplar for integrated knowledge translation in the following article (free download):

Wathen, CN, MacMillan, HL. The Role of Integrated Knowledge Translation in Intervention Research. Prevention Science, 2015, Online.  DOI 10.1007/s11121-015-0564-9

VEGA Project Update (Development of Pan-Canadian Public Health Guidance on Family Violence)

The PHAC-funded VEGA (Violence, Evidence, Guidance, Action) Project is off to an excellent start. A meeting of the National Guidance and Implementation Committee (NGIC), composed of key Canadian stakeholder organizations in the health and social services sector was held on June 8-9, 2015 in Ottawa, following initial consultations with these groups.

On June 30, 2015, the PreVAiL team convened the first meeting of the Evidence Review Groups, which will review and synthesize evidence in our three topic areas (child maltreatment, intimate partner violence (IPV), and children’s exposure to IPV), and integrate this with NGIC and other stakeholder input to form the foundation of the practice guidance and tailored curricula we will be developing for care providers.

A website will soon be launched, including updates and topical blogs, so please stay tuned.

PreVAiL to co-Lead New Canadian Initiative on Public Health Response to Family Violence

The Canadian government announced on February 20, 2015 significant new funding for the response to family violence – a total of $10 million annually for the next 10 years.

PreVAiL is delighted to be a lead organization, with the British Columbia (BC) Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health, on the first project to be supported through this investment.  The 3-year, $4.1 million project is entitled “Development of Pan-Canadian Public Health Guidance on Family Violence” and will develop education materials and approaches that will help health professionals better support the needs of victims of violence.

See the news release (link).

PreVAiL researchers and trainees publish new paper on immigration status, child maltreatment and IPV

Arising from our first PreVAiL Trainee Workshop (May 2011) on secondary data analysis methods, this is the second paper published by the trainee-led sub-group, in this case with support from the Public Health Agency of Canada:

Kimber, M., Henriksen, C.A., Davidov, D.M., Goldstein, A., Pitre, N., Tonmyr, L., & Afifi, T.O.* (accepted). The association between immigrant generational status, child-maltreatment history and intimate-partner violence (IPV): Evidence from a nationally representative survey. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology.

Ground-breaking Canadian research on the impacts of domestic violence on workers and workplaces released November 27, 2014

In partnership with the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) and the Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children at the University of Western Ontario, PreVAiL members Nadine Wathen (lead researcher) and Jen MacGregor (post-doctoral fellow) have conducted the first-ever survey of how intimate partner violence impacts workers and workplaces.

There was significant media interest, and the CLC has called on government and business leaders to convene a roundtable to collaboratively plan better policies and practices to improve the safety of workers experiencing abuse, and their workplaces, and develop workplace interventions for perpetrators.

Access the report and related materials at:

Access the related PreVAiL Research Brief here.

Watch to powerful 1.5 minute video produced by the CLC at:

This work continues with the new international DV@Work Network funded in 2014 by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, on which PreVAiL is a founding partner, and which also involves PreVAiL partners from the WHO and Public Health Agency of Canada.

Lancet Series on Prevention of Violence Against Women and Girls published November 21, 2014

A number of PreVAiL members were involved in the recently published set of papers that comprise the new Lancet Series on Prevention of Violence Against Women and Girls. Summaries of the papers are available at:

Congralutations to PreVAiL members Claudia Garcia-Moreno, Kelsey Hegarty, Rachel Jewkes and Gene Feder, and to our other colleagues from the WHO Violence Prevention Alliance.

Series titles are as follows:


Prevention of violence against women and girls: a new chapter by Udani Samarasekera, Richard Horton
Patriarchy and violence against women and girls by Jimmy Carter
Research priorities to address violence against women and girls by Marleen Temmerman

Series papers

Prevention of violence against women and girls: what does the evidence say? by Mary Ellsberg, Diana J Arango, Matthew Morton, Floriza Gennari, Sveinung Kiplesund, Manuel Contreras, Charlotte Watts

The health-systems response to violence against women by Claudia García-Moreno, Kelsey Hegarty, Ana Flavia Lucas d’Oliveira, Jane Koziol-MacLain, Manuela Colombini, Gene Feder

From work with men and boys to changes of social norms and reduction of inequities in gender relations: a conceptual shift in prevention of violence against women and girls by Rachel Jewkes, Michael Flood, James Lang

Prevention of violence against women and girls: lessons from practice by Lori Michau, Jessica Horn, Amy Bank, Mallika Dutt, Cathy Zimmerman

Addressing violence against women: a call to action by Claudia García-Moreno, Cathy Zimmerman, Alison Morris-Gehring, Lori Heise, Avni Amin, Naeemah Abrahams, Oswaldo Montoya, Padma Bhate-Deosthali, Nduku Kilonzo, Charlotte Watts

New PreVAiL Publications – Partnerships & KTE

As part of our integrated knowledge translation and exchange approach to research in family violence prevention, PreVAiL strives to evaluate its own practices, as well as understand how best to mobilize research knowledge for policy and practice. Two recent publications highlight some of our work in this area:

1. PreVAiL Partnership Evaluation – evaluates the early stages of PreVAiL as a network, with key data provided by our partners.

Link to online open access version.

2. Integrative review of KTE strategies in IPV and child maltreatment – a comprehensive review of evidence for KTE strategies, including continuing education.

Link to online open access version.

New PreVAiL Progress Update Released (June 2014)

Updating our November 2012 Progress Update, this 30+-page document provides highlights of PreVAiL’s work over the last two years, as well as a comprehensive listing of our 50+ peer reviewed publications, new research grants and many and varied knowledge translation and exchange activities.

Access the report on our “Things We’ve Done” page.

PreVAiL Team Meeting, June 2-3, 2014

Thanks to all PreVAiL members for their enthusiasm and commitment to ensuring a productive and positive Team Meeting on June 2-3, 2014. The highlight was the policy-related Deliberative Dialogue process ably led by Dr. Jennifer Boyko and assisted by trainees Dr. Jen MacGregor and Jill Veenendaal. The team discussed the overall challenge of:

How to facilitate the use of research evidence to orient health and social systems to prevent IPV, CM and their consequences.

Our violence research experts, knowledge users and trainees had focused discussions on three aspects of this challenge:

1. How can we re-orient existing government violence prevention policy frameworks towards socio-ecological approaches and responses based on rigorous intervention research?
2. How can we build capacity to harness existing research and knowledge about factors (micro/meso/macro) related to preventing violence?
3. How can we more actively and effectively engage key stakeholders and the broader public in developing principles and strategies for communicating evidence-based violence prevention messages?

Meeting highlights were shared via the PreVAiL Twitter account – @PreVAiLResearch – a successful initial foray into social media; thanks to University of Western Ontario Health Information Science PhD student Lyndsay Foisey for her work as our Social Media Correspondent.

PreVAiL Trainee & Emerging Investigator Workshop – June 1, 2014

Natalia Diaz-Granados and Anita Morris organized a second PreVAiL Trainee Workshop on June 1, 2014, in advance of the PreVAiL Full Team Meeting. The topic was the use and impact of qualitative research methods in family violence research and was facilitated by Colleen Varcoe and Marilyn Ford-Gilboe, experts in this kind of research. Beth Jackson and Pamela Ponic from the Public Health Agency of Canada provided a policy perspective on the utility of qualitative evidence in policy decision-making. Trainee groups emerged with project ideas for further development.

Evaluating Partnerships in a Violence Prevention Network: New Paper Published and Available (May 2014)

PreVAiL has been evaluating the utility and impact of its integrated knowledge translation and exchange model. Results of the evaluation of the early stages of the Network partnership have been published in the open access journal Health Research Policy and Systems (HaRPS), as follows (click on the title for free access):

Kothari, A., Sibbald, S., Wathen, C.N. (2014). Evaluation of partnerships in a transnational family violence research network using an integrated knowledge translation and exchange model: a mixed methods study. Health Research Policy and Systems, 12:25. doi:10.1186/1478-4505-12-25.

67th World Health Assembly adopts historic resolution “Strengthening the role of the health system in addressing violence, in particular against women and girls, and against children” (May 2014)

From the statement by the WHO:

“On 24 May 2014, the 67th World Health Assembly (WHA) adopted a historic resolution entitled “Strengthening the role of the health system in addressing violence, in particular against women and girls, and against children“. The resolution, which was co-sponsored by the Governments of Albania, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Guatemala, India, Italy, Kenya, Latvia, Mexico, Moldova, Namibia, Netherlands, Norway, Paraguay, Portugal, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United States, Uruguay and Zambia, is the result of passionate negotiation that ended in the early hours of the morning prior to the closure of the WHA.

Among other tasks, the resolution calls on WHO to prepare its first ever global plan of action on strengthening the role of the health system in addressing interpersonal violence, in particular against women and girls, and against children, which WHO is invited to present through the Executive Board to the 69th WHA in 2016.

The new resolution notes that interpersonal violence, in particular against women and girls, and against children, persists in every country of the world as a major challenge to public health. It raises further concerns that violence has health-related consequences including death, disability and physical injuries, mental health impacts and sexual and reproductive health consequences, as well as social consequences. It recognizes that health systems are not adequately addressing the problem of violence, yet affirms the health system’s role in preventing, responding, and advocating for interventions to combat the social acceptability and tolerance of interpersonal violence.

In addition to the global plan of action, WHO is requested to continue to strengthen efforts to develop the scientific evidence on magnitude, trends, health consequences, and risk and protective factors for violence; support Member States by providing technical assistance; and finalize its global status report in 2014. WHO should also report regularly on progress in implementing this resolution.

Member States are urged to ensure that all people affected by violence have timely, effective and affordable access to health services; improve the collection and dissemination of data on violence; and enhance capacities to prevent and respond to violence. The resolution also urges Member States to ensure health sector engagement with other sectors, in order to promote and develop an effective, comprehensive, multisectoral response, by addressing violence in health and development plans; establishing and adequately financing national multisectoral strategies; and promoting inclusive participation of relevant stakeholders.

Across the world, each year, nearly 1.4 million people lose their lives to violence. For every person who dies as a result of violence, many more are injured and suffer from a range of health problems. One in three women experience violence by an intimate partner at least once in their life. Violence places a massive burden on national economies, costing countries billions of US dollars each year in health care, law enforcement and lost productivity. The resolution follows previous WHA resolutions from 1996 and 1997 recognizing violence as a public health problem, and a WHA resolution from 2003 urging Member States to implement the recommendations of the landmark World report on violence and health. This new resolution seeks to scale up work on this important public health problem.”