Keith Carlson, chair and director of the Peace and Reconciliation Centre at Univeristy of the Fraser Valley.

UFV hosts online session about interpersonal violence

Peace and Reconciliation Centre in Abbotsford holds discussion on Thursday, Jan. 21

The second in a three-part series about interpersonal violence takes place Thursday, Jan. 21 through University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) in Abbotsford.

A Trauma-Informed Discussion About Interpersonal Violence runs online from noon to 2 p.m. with Dr. Lori Haskell, a clinical psychologist and academic research associate at Western University.

She is one of Canada’s most sought-after experts on trauma and abuse, trauma-informed approaches to mental-health service delivery, and legal responses.

The session is being hosted by the Peace and Reconciliation Centre (PARC) at UFV.

DR. LORI HASKELL

PARC chair and director Keith Carlson said addressing domestic violence in a healthy way has immediate results and helps build the groundwork for ending violence on a larger scale.

He said that when people think of victims of violence, their minds often turn to international conflicts.

RELATED: Intimate partner violence to be focus of forum at UFV

“At PARC, we know that violence is additionally something much more local and more intimate. With Dr. Haskell’s presentation, we are reminding people that too often violence occurs in the most local of places and within the most intimate of relationships,” Carlson said.

He said that for those who already struggled with poverty, racism and unhealthy domestic relationships, COVID-19 has made a bad situation even worse.

Carlson said trying to end interpersonal violence is like trying to build reconciliation.

“There are things we can do collectively as a society, and there are things we can do individually.”

Carlson said PARC is trying to empower people to act on multiple fronts and on multiple levels.

He said PARC recognizes that conflict and violence take many different forms and cause a wide range of harm and trauma. There is no one solution to ending violence, he added.

PARC works with diverse scholars and community organizations to help ensure that people facing crisis are connected with people who can offer solutions.

PARC coordinator Shaheen Shivji said the group is committed to pulling together those people.

“UFV PARC will always be a place of safety and reflection and to reinforce the message to end violence. In fact, we begin each of our forums with a moment of silence to remember victims of violence worldwide,” she said.

Carlson said Haskell’s presentation will be a success if it gives gives even one victim of violence a new strategy for safety or if it helps even one abuser to “stop and re-think their situation and find healthy outlets for the anger they carry from earlier trauma.”

He said anyone who is in a dangerous situation or is the victim of violence should turn to the appropriate authorities and to trusted friends or family or call 911. As well, Archway Community Services in Abbotsford can help get students out of a violent situation and connect them with programs and counselling.

UFV’s Safe Student Community also provides services, including preventing sexualized violence.

PARC held the first part of the series in February 2020, but the second part was delayed due to the pandemic.

The second session is moderated by Rod Santiago, executive director of Archway Community Services, and Dr. Zina Lee, director of the UFV school of criminology and criminal justice.

Register for the online forum at eventbrite.ca by searching “A Trauma Informed Discussion About Interpersonal Violence.”

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