Trauma- and Violence-Informed Approaches

It is critical to incorporate trauma- and violence-informed approaches (TVIA) into policies and practices to increase attention on the negative impacts of violence, to mitigate harm, and to provide positive supports to all individuals affected by trauma and violence. Learn about how we are committed to incorporating TVIA into our work.

What is a trauma- and violence-informed Approach?

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada (2018), trauma and violence are prevalent in society and can negatively affect any human being.

Trauma occurs when people experience and have difficulty coping with an overwhelmingly negative event or series of events, including violence. Violence is the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, which can result in traumatic long-term effects, whether the violence is ongoing or in the past. Violence can be experienced on an interpersonal level, such as childhood abuse and domestic abuse. Violence can also be experienced by marginalized populations on a systemic level, such as racism and discrimination against the LGBTQIA+ community.

As defined by the Public Health Agency of Canada (2018), TVIA are “policies and practices that recognize the connections between violence, trauma, negative health outcomes and behaviours”. A TVIA is important to minimize harm (prevent further traumatization or re-traumatization) and to increase the safety, control and resilience of those affected by trauma and violence.

A multi-ethnic group of adults are attending a group therapy session. The attendees are seated in a circle. A senior black woman is sharing her struggles with the group. A mixed-race young woman rests her arm on the woman's back, expressing comfort and support.

What we’re doing

Young bearded man in wheelchair talking with psychotherapist at home.

To address increasing rates of domestic violence and family violence resulting from COVID-19, we are strengthening our focus on TVIA.

With support from the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund and the Ottawa Community Foundation, we are providing family support centres with the necessary tools to adopt TVIA into their program delivery. Through TVIA, service providers in family support centres can offer safer care and support to individuals affected by trauma and violence, even when individuals choose not to disclose their trauma history.

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