Throughout the Bridging Communities virtual conference, there will be opportunities to join in a variety of breakout sessions. You will be able to choose which session you attend for each “Breakout Session” block. You can find more information about each session below:

11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.: Breakout Sessions

Session 1A: Responding to Barriers to Inclusive and Equitable Service Delivery within Domestic Violence Service Provision
Presented by Humaira Falak
Breakout Room 1

The CDVC set the Ethno- Culturally Diverse Communities (ECDC); as an area of focus for 2018-2022. The ECDC determined a need to identify assets, gaps, and challenges to providing services that ‘work’ in various and diverse communities. One of the identified issues was specific to addressing gender differences, cultural norms, and stereotypes, discrimination, and racism. With this, the ECDC Working Group of the CDVC engaged in exploring and understanding Equity and Inequity within the domestic violence services sector. The presentation will focus on the findings from this research project and highlight inaccessibility to services through results from literature review, surveys, and interviews which highlight recommendations to better respond to these gaps.

Session 1B: The Leading Change Expansion Pack
Presented by Jill Shillabeer & Joe Campbell, Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters
Breakout Room 2

Late in 2020, the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters (ACWS) primary prevention team launched the Leading ChangeTM Expansion Pack as a means of creating a greater social and systemic change. Partnering with EPCOR and the social innovators behind the You Need This Box, the Leading ChangeTM Expansion Pack was designed to reach new audiences curious to learn more about preventing and ending gender-based violence. Join the Leading ChangeTM team from ACWS to explore how the Expansion Pack came to be, its reach to date and how people across the country are engaging with “social change from their sofa.”

Session 1C: Measures of Victim Empowerment
Presented by Carrie McManus & Amy Munroe, Sagesse
Breakout Room 3

This presentation will walk through how Sagesse uses the values, context and impact of the Measures of Victim Empowerment Related to Safety evaluation tool to support our clients to build greater understanding of the impacts of trauma on their lives and the path through that to greater healthiness. Through interactive activities and dynamic discussion we will explore how our singular focus on safety actually puts our clients into more trauma, but that the shift of moving people to a more complex understanding of their experiences and capacity around safety, the trade-offs that come with safety, and their internal ability to engage in empowerment around safety we build our clients capacity to move through their traumatic experiences and feel more in charge of their lives.

1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.: Breakout Sessions

Session 2A: Mental health, Domestic and Sexual Violence during COVID-19 and Supporting the Supporters Tools
Presented by Jassim Al-Mosawi
Breakout Room 4

This presentation will highlight the issue of mental health and domestic and sexual violence and the impact of a current pandemic on these issues. The presentation will provide practical self-care tools to support frontline staff in dealing with stress and burnout related to the current pandemic. Participants in this presentation will be able to gain awareness of how humans emotionally deal with disaster and are able to understand the physical and psychological signs of stress, anxiety and PTSD and learn practical tools to support themselves, colleagues and clients.

Session 2B: Not Alone: Group Therapy as an Effective Community-Based Treatment Approach for Men who have Experienced Intimate Partner Abuse
Presented by Stefan de Villiers, Calgary Counselling Centre
Breakout Room 5

The purpose of this presentation is to share outcome data collected over the past five years of running Turn For The Better (TFTB), a therapy group specifically designed to promote resilience among its participants: male victims of intimate partner abuse. At its best, group therapy can be a powerful antidote to individual suffering, by privileging relational repair through the creation of a shared community. Since 2006, the Calgary Counselling Centre has overseen a unique program, the Male Domestic Abuse Outreach Program (MDAOP), for men who have experienced family violence. The MDAOP is one of only a handful of programs in the country to offer support to male victims of family violence.

Session 2C: The Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART): Bringing Together the Health and Social Services Sectors to Address the Needs of Those Experiencing Domestic Violence
Presented by Shams Lalani
Breakout Room 6

The Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART) is offered in collaboration with Alberta Health Services (AHS) and local community agencies through grant funding provided by the Government of Alberta. Following the routine screening for domestic violence and receipt of a disclosure, DART provides patients with prompt, around-the-clock access to specialized services, including crisis intervention, risk assessments, safety planning, and connections to follow-up supports. DART responders serve patients across the lifespan and provide services during their admission to select emergency and maternity departments.

2:45 p.m. – 4:10 p.m.: Breakout Sessions

Session 3A: Caring for Those Working in the Prevention and Treatment Field
Presented by Corrine Janzen & John Thompson, Lethbridge Family Services
Breakout Room 7

Empathy, compassion, and care are the most important tools to use when working with those affected by domestic violence. Just as a carpenter’s saw needs sharpening, the care a helping professional gives to others needs to be maintained and replenished. This presentation will address the importance of providing supportive resources and services to those who work within the field of domestic violence prevention and treatment. Together, we will discuss the causes and impacts of Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma as well as strategies for resilience. Throughout, participants will have opportunities to participate in activities and conversations that can help support a healthy response to the ‘cost of caring’.

Session 3B: A Judge’s View – Court’s Response to Covid-19 and beyond
Presented by Judge Mark Tyndale
Breakout Room 8

Session 3C: Impacts of Intergenerational Trauma
Presented by Tim Fox
Breakout Room 9

This presentation is a learning and unlearning experience that explores how our shared history continues to have an impact on Indigenous peoples and provides suggested ways we can collectively heal from these impacts.