Professional Training/Curriculums

Learn about Ontario-based, Canadian, and global training curriculums on violence against women and children. Research, evaluations, and online resources related to training for disciplines and sectors such as education, health, mental health, social services, justice, VAW, settlement services, and services for indigenous peoples.

Addressing Past Sexual Assault in Clinical Settings
This new new competency-based e-learning curriculum is funded by the Province of Ontario through the Ontario Women’s Directorate.  This free interactive online course can teach you:

  • about the long-term physical, psychological and social impacts of sexual assault;
  • how to create an environment that supports disclosure;
  • how to appropriately respond to a woman who been sexually assaulted in the past;
  • why it is important to foster an interdisciplinary and collaborative approach within your practice setting

This resource is applicable to all health care practitioners and their allies -- everyone from physiotherapists to nurses to medical technologists.  To register for this free interactive online course visit: www.DVeducation.ca/sexualassault  | Contact: Dr. Robin Mason at robin.mason@wchospital.ca

After She Leaves
Springtide Resources, in partnership with Luke’s Place Support and Resource Centre, developed online training for community workers supporting women who have experienced abuse and are involved in the family law system. This skill-based, self-directed training provides information on: safety strategies for court settings; writing affidavits; court documents and procedures; working with lawyers and other court officials; and safety and access issues to prepare for when the court process is complete. The eight module full training is open registration ($250 for full training or $50 for each single module training) that must be completed within eight weeks (two weeks access for single module training).

Be Aware, Prepare, Educate
Springtide Resources developed this online training for elementary school teachers in Ontario to explore the impact of children’s exposure to woman abuse, educators’ legal obligations to students who are exposed to woman abuse, and how educators can make a difference in the lives of such students. The 6 online modules are self-directed and take approximately 5 hours to complete in total.

Best Practices for Investigating and Prosecuting Sexual Assault
The Alberta Government developed this handbook to better inform police officers, Crown prosecutors, and all those involved with the criminal justice process of sexual offences about the impact and effect this crime has on victims and what resources are available to combat this type of violence.  Information and best practices for investigating and prosecuting sexual assault cases was obtained through discussions with senior Crown prosecutors, police officers, sexual assault and Victim Service advocates, sexual assault examiners, health care professionals, and others who work with survivors of sexual assault, as well as through an academic literature review.  Topics include definitions and concepts; sexual assault myths; the roles of professionals and the importance of collaboration; reporting to police; consent; drug-facilitated sexual assault; the Third Option (i.e., option of saying ‘maybe’ to reporting assault to police rather than just ‘yes’ or ‘no’); historical sexual assaults; dates sexual offences came in force with the Criminal Code; prosecution; criminal justice process; Dangerous/Long-term offender applications; vicarious trauma; facts and statistics; online exploitation; people with disabilities; cultural issues; sex trade workers; human trafficking; male victims; older victims; victims from the Rainbow community; and sexual violence in the context of intimate partner violence.

Core Competencies for Domestic Violence Training
A series of core competencies for domestic violence training were developed through the Knowledge Exchange: Workshop on Domestic Violence Training.  Workshop participants discussed their VAW training projects and offer lessons learned regarding program delivery and evaluation in a series of video interviews.

Distance Learning for Dental Hygienists (2010-2012)
Springtide Resources
partnered with the Ontario Dental Hygienists' Association to offer training to members on responding to woman abuse. Dental hygienists interested in learning about woman abuse are invited to participate in this online training, "Detect, Respond, Refer: Helping to End Woman Abuse." This final product of the project was designed with the support of an advisory committee of dental hygienists and shelter workers. It is available to both ODHA members and non-members.

Domestic Violence and Pregnancy
This free training program entitled ‘Domestic Violence and Pregnancy: Effective Screening and Intervention Strategies for Health Care Professionals’ is provided by Safe Place, which is an organization committed to ending sexual and domestic violence. The training is intended for those involved in the health care field such as nurses, Ob/Gyn and family physicians, physician assistants, social workers, and case managers. The 1.5 hour online program provides trainees with a foundation of knowledge regarding domestic violence, as well as the fundamental information required to identify, treat, document, and report known or suspected cases of abuse.

Domestic Violence Curriculum for Law Schools
The LCO received a grant from the Ontario Women's Directorate to develop law school curriculum modules on violence against women. The objective was to develop modules that are flexible enough that law schools that wish to use them are able to include them in existing courses, offer them as an intensive course or combine them into a full course. The modules go beyond the most obvious courses, with a view to ensuring that law students receive some training in this area, regardless of the area of law in which they will practice. The preparation of the modules builds on similar curricula developed for the National Judicial Institute and prepared in the past for law schools, as well as work done elsewhere. The LCO retained Pamela Cross, an expert on violence against women who has also assisted in the development of curricula for the NJI and Legal Aid, as the Project Director. The initiative had the benefit of an Advisory Group composed of members with a range of expertise in violence against women, including faculty members from all the Ontario law schools.

Domestic Violence Risk Assessment and Management
An online course developed by the Centre for Research & Education on Violence against Women & Children for health care, social service and education professionals to develop skills and awareness regarding domestic violence risk factors, determining the need for a risk assessment, the importance of communication and collaboration regarding risk assessment and risk management.

Domestic Violence Training for Physicians: Current Promising Practices
Learning Network Brief 23.
This Learning Network brief offers a synopsis of findings reported in a recent review of randomized control trials that evaluated domestic violence training programs for physicians. Implications for future professional development for physicians on domestic violence are offered.

End Violence Against Women International- Online Training Institute
End Violence Against Women International
(EVAWI) provides numerous free online training programs focusing on responses to sexual violence by the criminal justice system. Topics include: dynamics of sexual violence; victim impact; interviewing the victim; reporting methods; and effective victim advocacy.

Evaluating Violence Against Women Training Initiatives: A Primer (2012)
Ryan Broll, Claire Crooks, Linda Baker, Anna-Lee Straatman
This report briefly describes the purpose of evaluations followed by the review of current evaluation literature on the effectiveness of VAW training initiatives. The report outlines the types and levels of evaluation, importance of logic models - including examples and guides on developing them, common evaluation challenges, and critical steps to consider when conducting an evaluation of VAW training programs.

French Language Institute
Created by Action ontarienne contre la violence fait aux femmes

Healthy Families Healthy Nations Domestic Violence Training for Professionals and Service Providers
Created by Equay-wuk, this domestic violence training resource is designed for service providers supporting Aboriginal women in remote First Nations communities.  Within the overarching theme of "working towards violence free communities",  this training resource is designed to increase awareness of the need for community leaders to commit to violence free communities, how the cycle of abuse impacts family and community, early warning signs, exploring avenues for culturally sensitive prevention, the need to eliminate ostracism of victims, how service providers can contribute to the holistic prevention model, occupational roles, responsibilities and on-the-job policies, procedures and practices for responding to domestic violence, options for improving organizational practices, available services, and increasing support for women and children.  Pamphlets are provided in English, Ojibway and Oji-Cree.

Human Trafficking: Canada Is Not Immune
The British Columbia Ministry of Justice has developed a free online training program on the topic of human trafficking in Canada. The program consists of 4 modules and will take approximately 5-7 hours to complete; however, the program can be completed at your own pace. The program provides a thorough account of what human trafficking is, Canada’s response to human trafficking, how to recognize a trafficked person, and how to help a trafficked person. The program is offered in both English and French.

Immigration, Women, and Children: Part 1 – Basic Concepts
This one hour webinar presented by Family Law Education for Women (FLEW) & METRAC reviews basic immigration terms and pointers for women who are not Canadian citizens and whose status may be affected by their partner and the breakdown of their relationship.  Specifically, this webinar looks at immigration issues in the context of an abusive relationship.  Topics include: first steps before meeting with a lawyer; different kinds of immigration status in Canada; common immigration terms; potential risks to immigration status in Canada; options when status is at risk; how to find help; and additional resources.

Immigration, Women, and Children: Part II – Sample Situations
This one hour webinar is part two of a review series on immigration, women and children developed by Family Law Education for Women & METRAC.  The webinar discusses situations involving immigration and family issues that may arise for non-citizen women and their children with specific attention to domestic violence.  Topics include: domestic violence and non-citizens’ rights in family court; relationship breakdown – sponsored permanent residents; sponsorship breakdown – when children are involved; sponsorship breakdown – women who sponsor a partner; immigration consequences of a criminal conviction; relationship breakdown – refugee claimants; travelling with children; and additional resources.

Improving Access to Violence Against Women Services for Women with Disabilities
Springtide Resources
has developed an online training program targeted for anyone who provides services to women who may disclose a history of physical or sexual abuse. The program was developed to aid in the goal of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2005) in making Ontario accessible by 2025. The purpose of the training program is to provide trainees with the skills and knowledge to support and advocate for women with disabilities who have experienced violence or harassment, and who are accessing services from your agency.

Knowledge Exchange Workshop on Domestic Violence Training
The Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children brought together the developers and deliverers of Domestic Violence Training in Ontario that have been funded through the Ontario Women's Directorate and other key stakeholders. The overall purpose for the meeting was to promote knowledge exchange and planning for domestic violence training. The meeting also had specific objectives:
-To update each participant on the nature and extent of DV training that has been developed and implemented as part of the Domestic Violence Action Plan;
-To develop a proposed core curriculum that can be used to assess the content of current training;
-To identify best practices that could be applied to new/other training initiatives (e.g. as part of training for the Sexual Violence Action Plan);
-To identify opportunities for collaboration with other trainers/ organizations/ sectors;
-To identify future needs; and
-To identify mechanisms for knowledge exchange amongst Violence Against Women trainers, curriculum developers, post-secondary institutions and professional development organizations.

Making Connections: When Domestic Violence, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Problems Co-Occur
Making Connections is a training program on the intersections of domestic violence with mental health and substance use problems.  The program contains a text-based manual, online training modules, an on-site workshop, and a discussion forum that provides an introduction to these issues and concrete tools to help professionals work with women experiencing these complex problems.  The online component contains six interactive modules that can be used with the text manual or on their own; however it is recommended that the manual be used in tandem with the respective online modules.  The online training component also contains a discussion room to pose and answer questions and share resources and ideas.  New users will need to register for the online training.  A contact person is provided to learn about hosting or participating in an accompanying workshop in your community.

Meeting the Needs of “Honour” Related Violence and Forced Marriage Survivors
This online training was developed by the Barbra Schlifer Clinic for service providers. It focuses on increasing the safety of young women at risk or experiencing forced marriage and “honour” related violence.  The training is survivor informed and focuses on strategies for effective intervention and support for young women at risk. The training is comprised of 6 modules, occurring over 6 weeks through live class times (Thursdays, 10am-12pm).

OACAS Woman Abuse and Intersection with CAS
Ruth Harper, the Provincial Trainer for the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies (OACAS), discusses a new training initiative provided by the OACAS that focuses on woman abuse and how it intersects with child protection issues.  The training is directed to child welfare staff across the province of Ontario.  Ruth discusses the context of the training including engaging men who use abusive behaviours in their intimate relationships; the impact of the training initiative, feedback received, advice on providing and implementing training initiatives, and the sustainability of the OACAS initiative.

OAITH Foundations
This online facilitated training program was developed by the Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Housing for frontline workers in the VAW sector.  The program focuses on building a professional portfolio that includes advocacy as central to working with women and children experiencing violence.  The program features online videos and modules, as well as moderated group discussion. It occurs once a week over five weeks (4 hours/week; 20 hours total). The course is offered only on specific dates and includes: portfolio development; feminist intersectional analysis; ethical decision making; documentation; harm reduction; risk assessment; and feminist strength-based counselling.

Online Training Initiative to Address Human Trafficking
In consultation with subject area experts, service providers, government staff, police and survivors of human trafficking, Multilingual Community Interpreter Services (MCIS) has developed online training and related resources for service providers who support human trafficking victims in Ontario. The training and related resources include: an overview of human trafficking in Canada and Ontario; information on the dynamics of human trafficking; human trafficking indicators; service needs of trafficked persons; unique needs of Aboriginal and Francophone clients; and information on first response, medium and long-term support. The training is also available in French.

Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses Technology and Woman Abuse Online Training
The Technology and Woman Abuse online training
provides a series of e-presentations that raises awareness of how information and communication technologies can be used to abuse women and their children and how to implement technology safety strategies to minimize this risk of abuse. The first module discusses telephone technologies, such as cordless phones, cell phones, and blue tooth. The second module discusses computer technologies including information on the internet and wireless connections. Our Learning Network team completed the training and found it to be very informative and user-friendly. Each module takes approximately half an hour to complete but you are able to complete it at your own pace. The training also provides a number of resources including a technology power and control wheel, technology safety planning with survivors, and a data security checklist. The training is offered by the Ontario Association of Interval & Transition Houses (OAITH) with the original training materials developed by members of Safety Net – the National Network to End Domestic Violence in the U.S.

Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants - Learn at Work
The Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants provides numerous free online training programs focusing on various topics related to immigration and violence. Training programs include: Prevention of Domestic Violence Against Immigrant and Refugee Women through Early Intervention; Family Violence and Refugee and Immigration Law; Family Violence Against Immigrant & Refugee Women: Community Development Strategies; and Understanding and Responding to Sexual Violence in Immigrant and Refugee Communities.

Paramedic Response to Violence Against Women
The Sunnybrook – Osler Centre for Prehospital Care has developed online training for emergency first responders. The first initiative, the "Paramedic Response to Violence Against Women" is available to paramedics and paramedic students in community colleges across Ontario. With the support of the Association of Municipal Emergency Medical Services Ontario (AMEMSO), the training provides a realistic experience and practical skills to better identify, respond and support suspected victims.

Principles of Prevention
The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention
is an organization that is dedicated to preventing violence. They have developed a free online training program entitled Principles of Prevention, which educates trainees on the key concepts of primary prevention, the public health approach, and the social-ecological model. The training program addresses the following five forms of violence: child abuse and neglect; intimate partner violence; sexual violence; suicide; and youth violence.

Recognizing when a child’s injury or illness is caused by abuse
This guide developed by the U.S. Department of Justice helps first responders and investigators recognize when a child’s injury or illness is caused by accident or from child maltreatment. The guide includes the most current literature on how to differentiate between accidental and abusive injuries and questions that investigators must ask. Chapters include understanding how injuries could be a product of abuse; caretaker assessment; injury assessment; constructing a timeline; examining skin injuries, fractures, head and eye injuries, and abdominal injuries; working with the medical community; preparing and presenting medical evidence for trial; and other available resources.

Reducing the Risk of Lethal Violence
This online course was developed by the Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children for health care, social service and education professionals. The 7 hour, self-directed training focuses on developing skills and awareness regarding domestic violence risk factors, determining the need for a risk assessment, the importance of communication and collaboration regarding risk assessment and risk management. The course also features modules for specific sectors (e.g. social workers).

Responding to Disclosures of Sexual Violence
This online training developed by the Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children aims to assist frontline responders and service providers in developing effective and supportive responses to victims/survivors who report or disclose experiences of sexual violence. The training is 7 hours in length and provides videos of both supportive and unsupportive responses and explore the multiple issues that can influence both the victim or survivor and responder.  The videos will help professionals understand the barriers and stigma that affect notions of consent and coercion.

Responding to Domestic Violence in Clinical Settings
Created by Women's College Hospital, this scenario-based, interactive, e-learning platform is suitable for training a variety of health care providers including Emergency Department personnel, obstetricians, family physicians, medical and nursing students.  Upon completion of the training modules, learners will have more knowledge about domestic violence and its health impacts. They will also know more about how to support women who are experiencing or are at risk of abuse.

Responding to Sexual Violence in Health Care Settings
Developed by Women’s College Hospital, this training is a free, interactive, online curriculum designed to support shifts in attitudes and enhance the knowledge and skills of health and allied health trainees, students and providers. The curriculum is grounded in evidence-informed competencies as found in the literature and expert opinion.  It takes 2 hours to complete.

Risk Assessment E-Learning
Online training developed by the Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses. The curriculum consists of four modules: Feminist Analysis of Risk and Risk Assessment; Justice System Perspective of Risk Assessment Tools; Risk Assessment in Partnership with Women; and Safety and Advocacy Plans.

Sexual Assault Victim Service Worker Handbook
The Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General of British Columbia developed this handbook for service workers that support adult victims of adult or childhood sexual assault who are seeking services.  Topics discussed in the handbook include the dynamics and impact of sexual assault; the needs of diverse communities in seeking support; societal responses to sexual assault; an introduction and overview of the work of victim services; the survivor’s need for safety and support; the process of the medical investigation including obtaining forensic evidence and the role of the service worker; the role of the service worker in the criminal justice process; and a list of information and support resources.

Spousal Support Basics and Partner Abuse
Presented by Family Law Education for Women and METRAC, this webinar discusses basic issues around spousal support and the factors affecting the amount of payments and for how long.  The 1.25 hour webinar also discusses how domestic violence, during or after the relationship, can affect spousal support payments and provides some ideas to ensure fairness and safety.

Supporting Father Involvement Training
Strategies
has developed several training initiatives that focus on strengthening families through enhancing father involvement.  Some trainings include incorporating father friendly practices into organizations; building financial stability for families; supporting reentry fathers; organizational development and strengthening in father friendliness; how to include and enhance the inclusion of fathers in agencies; and knowledge and skill building group leader preparation training.

Technology and Woman Abuse Online Training
This training from OAITH provides a series of e-presentations that raises awareness of how information and communication technologies can be used to abuse women and their children and how to implement technology safety strategies to minimize this risk of abuse.

Technology Safety Online Training Course
The Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WSCADV) designed this course for directors, administrators, and shelter and program managers to increase their knowledge and awareness of how technology can put clients’ and the agency’s privacy and safety at risk.

The Cost of Caring: Secondary Traumatic Stress and the Impact of Working with High-Risk Children and Families
The Child Trauma Academy provides this free training on secondary traumatic stress, which is targeted towards those working with high-risk children and families. The program provides trainees with a foundational understanding of what secondary traumatic stress is and how it develops, self-care strategies for combatting secondary traumatic stress, and how to find additional resources for further support.

The Use of Technology to Stalk Online Training
This training initiative was developed by the Stalking Resource Center of the National Center for Victims of Crime and the Office for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice.  The purpose of this online training is to educate and inform criminal justice professionals and victim service providers about the use of technology to stalk and harass victims in order to enhance
their ability to work with survivors.

Training for survivors, frontline workers and volunteers
In this short video, Nneka MacGregor, the Executive Director of WomenatthecentrE , discusses the multiple training initiatives to help support survivors of gendered violence.  The initiatives are aimed at survivors, frontline workers and volunteers with a focus on developing the capacity and abilities of survivors to engage in advocacy and use their lived experience to inform policy and practice.

Training Social Work Students in Domestic/Sexual Violence Work: Key findings from the literature.
Learning Network Brief 25.
Several research studies have been conducted recently evaluating students' preparedness for working with victims and survivors of domestic violence, particularly in the field of social work.  Some key findings from these studies are summarized. This review includes publications from 2009 to 2015.  There were no Canadian studies identified for inclusion in this review.
View PDF Version

Understanding and Responding to Sexual Violence in Immigrant and Refugee Communities
This 5-week course was developed by the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) to help frontline practitioners working with immigrant and refugee communities to better understand issues of sexual violence and develop a supportive response for survivors.  The focus is not only on abuse that can occur within intimate relationships but also sexual violence that is perpetuated by family members, friends, acquaintances, those in positions of power and strangers.

When Charges are Laid in a Domestic Dispute – What to Expect
This one hour webinar examines the legal process when criminal charges are laid for domestic violence.  Presented by Family Law Education for Women and METRAC, the webinar looks at the complete process from police involvement to the resolution of the case, and what women can expect if they are the complainant or the accused.

Woman Abuse Affects Our Children
Developed by Springtide Resources and Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario, this program offers a variety of resources for educators regarding woman abuse and the impact on children. Video and print resources are available online.
Educator's Guide
Video and Print Resources

Woman Abuse Affects our Children: An Educator’s Guide.
Linda Baker & Peter Jaffe (2007)
An English Language Expert Panel for Educators was established to develop training, resources and an implementation plan designed for Ontario elementary school teachers, principals and counsellors. The Woman Abuse Affects our Children guide helps educators recognize and support children who may be experiencing violence in their home. Information, strategies, and/or guidelines for responding to disclosures, supporting difficult behaviours in the classroom, reporting to CAS, promoting safety, knowing community resources, and contributing to school-based violence prevention.

Woman Abuse: Child Welfare & VAW shelter/counselling agencies working towards better outcomes for families
This one hour, online training was developed by Interval House Hamilton & Niagara. It examines the Children’s Aid Society and Violence Against Women collaborative agreement; dynamics of abuse; relationship violence; risk assessment; signs of safety; engagement and assessment with men who are abusive, mothers, and children; and guiding practices with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis families.  It was developed to assist CAS and VAW workers in collaborating and support families experiencing violence.  It is accompanied by the booklet Critcal Connections: Where Woman Abuse and Child Safety Intersect A Practical Guide for Child Welfare Professionals in Ontario (http://www.oacas.org/pubs/critical_connections.pdf).

Woman Abuse in the Perinatal Period Guidelines for Care Providers
This guide developed by the Perinatal Partnership Program of Eastern and Southeastern Ontario outlines the role of health care providers in assisting pregnant women experiencing abuse.  The guide describes woman abuse; the prevalence rates of woman abuse and abuse during pregnancy; the dynamics of abuse; the health impacts; the role of the legal system; and the role of health care providers.  Specific attention is paid to health care providers' role in screening, documentation, and prevention.