Family Violence Through a Trauma Informed Approach

The Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research (MMFC), the Canadian Association of Social Workers, and the New Brunswick Association of Social Workers are pleased to bring you a series of four webinars, two in English and two in French. 

Click here to watch the recording.

Title:  Family Violence through a Trauma Informed Approach, January 29 – 12 noon to 1:00 pm

Presenter:  Rina Arseneault, C.M., MSW, RSW, Associate Director,  Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research

Summary of Presentation: Trauma results from experiences that overwhelm a person’s capacity to cope.  Understanding family violence through a trauma informed approach permits us to comprehend better some of the behaviors that individuals may develop trying to cope with the emotional, psychological, and physical pain of the violence.   Traumatic experiences shape many aspects of the lives of survivors of violence.  When not seen through a trauma lens, these changes can be inappropriately labelled as pathological instead of being seen as a way to adapt to the situation lived.

This presentation will define trauma-informed approach and discuss the importance of integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, processes, and practices. A trauma informed approach actively seek to avoid re-traumatization.


Learning objectives

•      To deepen knowledge of how trauma impacts people’s lives.

•      To enhance skills for creating appropriate and “trauma-informed” programs and services.

•      To reflect on how we can bring this analysis and approach to our daily work with partners and colleagues.

Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research

Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research (MMFC) has a mandate to undertake and to support activities which will contribute to the elimination from our society of family violence and violence against women and children.  The MMFC provides a regional and a national focus for academic research in the field of family violence and actively seeks the participation of researchers from across the country in carrying out its mandate.  Knowing that education is critical to eradicating intimate partner violence, the MMFC has developed a Family Violence Issues (FVI) Certificate Program at the University of New Brunswick.  In the community the MMFC has developed partnerships with provincial and national organizations to develop professional development opportunities which focus on family violence and intimate partner violence. 

Rina Arseneault, C.M., MSW, RSW

Rina Arseneault has been the Associate Director of the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research since November 1993. She has a Masters in Social Work and is a Registered Social Worker. From 2001 to 2003, she worked in the Psychiatry Emergency Services and at the HIV/AIDS Clinic at the Ottawa Hospital.

She is recognized as an activist and educator on women issues. She has organized numerous training opportunities and workshops.   Her experience includes extensive work with community - organizations, individual researchers, government agencies, the media and victims of violence.

In 1997, Rina was honoured with the NB Advisory Council on the Status of Women Recognition Award for her contribution to improving the status of women in New Brunswick.

In 2002, she received the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Foundation Award, for her work in violence against women and family violence.

In 2014, Rina was appointed to the Order of Canada.  The Order of Canada, one of our country’s highest civilian honours, recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation.  She is recognized for her contributions as a researcher, activist, author and educator working to end family violence.