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New guidance for recognizing and responding to family violence

Mar 3, 2020

Susan Jack

Above: Dr. Susan Jack

Family violence impacts as many as 1 in 3 Canadians. Exposure to violence is a health issue which can negatively impact mental and physical health across the lifespan.

New evidence-informed guidance to assist healthcare and social service providers in recognizing and responding safely to family violence is now available at the VEGA Project website.

The Violence Evidence Guidance Action (VEGA) educational resources site was launched on February 26. Dr. Harriet MacMillan, professor, Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences and Pediatrics, of the Offord Centre for Child Studies,  is the VEGA Project Lead. Dr. Susan Jack, a professor in the School of Nursing, was the co-chair of the Curriculum Leader Table, as well as the chair of the Children’s Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence Evidence Review Group.

Jack explains that “VEGA developed these resources with funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada in collaboration with 22 national organizations, including the Canadian Nurses Association, the Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association, and the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing. VEGA focuses on three main types of family violence: child maltreatment, intimate partner violence, and children’s exposure to intimate partner violence. VEGA has developed an online platform of education resources comprised of learning modules (e.g., care pathways, scripts, how-to videos), interactive educational scenarios and a Handbook. These will equip healthcare and social service providers, including students, in addressing the needs of those who may have experienced family violence.”

The McMaster Evidence Review and Synthesis Team (MERST) led by associate professor Dr. Diana Sherifali of the School of Nursing also helped develop the synthesis of evidence underpinning the VEGA resources. “This was a massive initiative that has yielded many guidance documents and educational resources pertaining to family violence. These resources are helpful to nurses practicing in various settings, as well as undergraduate/graduate nursing students,” says Sherifali.    

For access:

For new users

Visit  Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Register now” under ‘Registration for Individuals”.  You will be taken to a simple form to fill out.   The form will be in the same language as you see on the website.  Once submitted you will be sent a welcome email with your username, password, and login instructions.

For returning users

Visit  Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Click here to login to the VEGA Education Resources Website” under ‘Already Registered’.  You will be taken directly to the login form of the VEGA Education Resources website.  If you have forgotten your password or username, click on “Forgotten your username or password’ to recover your login details.

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