Communicating Using Trauma- and Violence-Informed Approaches

We recently completed our “Trauma- and Violence-Informed Approaches for Financial Literacy Education” webinar series! The series was part of Families Canada’s SAFE Women project, funded by Women and Gender Equality Canada. This project addressed the need for training on trauma- and violence-informed approaches (TVIA) in financial literacy education.  

This webinar series featured informative presentations from: Nadine Wathen, PhD, FCAHS (she, her), Professor & Canada Research Chair at Western University; Hiroko Nakao, Financial Empowerment Manager at Momentum Community Economic Development Society; and Millie Acuna, Manager of Asset Building Programs at SEED Winnipeg. 

Throughout the series, Nadine shared ways to use trauma- and violence-informed language in our everyday discussions with others.  

  How to Use TVIA Language in Your Communications:  

  • Be person-first. Describe someone’s behaviour or circumstances to avoid labeling them in stigmatizing ways. Emphasize their potential for change. 

For example, “woman experiencing violence” NOT “abused woman 

  • Convey optimism & give hope 

For example, “survivor” NOT “victim 

  • Respect a person’s autonomy. Demonstrate that the other person is the expert on their own life and use language that reflects collaboration. 

For example, “she’s choosing this path” NOT “she’s non-compliant 

  • Use language that normalizes and re-frames responses to trauma, is strength-based and future-oriented. 

For example, “Thank you. It took a lot of courage to tell me that. Nobody deserves to be treated that way and your reaction is understandable. How can I help?” 

The webinars were recorded and provided many additional strategies and tools that can help financial literacy educators apply trauma- and violence-informed approaches to financial literacy education.  

For more information, check out the four webinar recordings on YouTube!