The main goal of Bringing Together Sexual Assault and Intimate Partner Violence Sectors: Implications for Research, Policy, & Practice conference is to encourage interdisciplinary dialogue regarding the many issues concerning violence against women. With that in mind, we are honored to announce the attendance of our featured conference speakers from each area of focus: research, policy, and practice.
Dr. Elizabeth Sheehy, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa
Dr. Sheehy is a renowned legal scholar and women’s rights advocate who has worked tirelessly to end violence against women for over 30 years. As an esteemed Professor Emerita in the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa, Dr. Sheehy has taught courses in Criminal Law and Procedure, Sexual Assault Law, and Defending Battered Women on Trial and has contributed to landmark Canadian legal cases regarding issues of consent and sexual assault, spousal assault, and the treatment of women in the justice system. Dr. Sheehy was co-counsel for the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund’s (LEAF) advance consent case (2011 SCC 28) and was on the legal committee for LEAF’s intervention in R v Barton and R v Gagnon, both argued at the Supreme Court of Canada in October 2018. She has also presented legal briefs before governmental committees urging amendments most recently to C-51 (re: criteria for incapacity to consent to sexual contact) and C-75 (re: need to legislate no consent to strangulation). Dr. Sheehy sat on the Advisory Board for Informed Opinions, a national organization dedicated to including women’s expert voices in Canadian public discourse until 2018, and now sits on the Expert Advisory Panel for the Canadian Femicide Observatory and the Advisory Board for the Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre. In 2018, Dr. Sheehy was awarded the Governor General’s Persons Award and in 2019 will be invested with the Order of Ontario in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the intersection of law and violence against women.
Dr. Carolyn West, Psychology Department, University of Washington
Dr. Carolyn West is an award-winning author and Professor of Psychology at the University of Washington. She has travelled internationally to consult, lecture, and deliver training seminars on topics related to intimate partner violence and sexual assault. Dr. West creates inspirational materials to empower survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault to embark on their personal journey of healing. She is a recognized academic, clinician, and advocate, delivering keynote addresses, conducting workshops, and customizing innovative training material to educate and equip professionals with the skills needed to provide culturally sensitive services to survivors of gendered violence. Dr. West is also the writer and director of the documentary film “Let Me Tell Ya’ll Bout Black Chicks: Images of Black Women in Pornography” which will be screened as a special evening event at the conference.
Dr. Natalie Clark is also the Co-Chair of the Status of Women Committee for TRUFA and is on faculty with BCIT (for over 15 years) where she teaches in the Business program and the Justice Institute of BC (over 20 years) where she teaches courses in trauma and violence informed practices and addictions, and Indigenous trauma informed practices. Dr. Clark continues to practice as a clinical supervisor, educator, and counsellor specializing in violence and trauma as well as a girls group facilitator for Indigenous girls. Dr. Clark's practice, teaching, activism, and research over the last 25 years has focused on healing from violence and trauma with children, youth and their families, and communities and the coping responses to trauma and violence. She possesses over 25 years experience in the area of trauma and violence with a focus on healing and resistance, and coping responses including self-harming, substance use, disordered eating, and other survival responses. In carrying out her work, Dr. Clark takes into consideration the impact of colonial and gendered policies on Indigenous children, youth, families, and communities. Her work is informed and mobilized through her interconnected identities including her Metis ancestry; as a parent of three Secwepemc children and part of the Secwepemc community through kinship ties; and as an academic, activist, and sexual abuse counsellor.
Dr. Lisa Smylie, Status of Women Canada
Dr. Lisa Smylie was awarded a PhD in sociology from the University of Windsor in 2009 and was a doctoral fellow in Social Justice and Sexual Health from January 2002 to July 2008, under Dr. Eleanor Maticka-Tyndale. Dr. Smylie is the Director of Research at Status of Women Canada and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Windsor. Focusing on gender equality and gender-based violence, she is responsible for administering two national research programmes on behalf of the Government of Canada and is leading over 40 research projects with partners in Canada, Europe, and the UK. Dr. Smylie’s research engages various levels of government, community-based organizations, private sector, and local and international non-government organizations. Her research informs policies, programs and other initiatives related to gender equality and gender-based violence in Canada, including the implementation of the first federal gender-based violence strategy.
Ms. Nneka MacGregor, Executive Director – WomenatthecentrE
Ms. Nneka MacGregor is a personal, political and social advocate who works with government and other organizations to eradicate violence against women. She is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Women’s Centre for Social Justice, also known as the WomenatthecentrE, a unique non-profit organization created by women survivors for women survivors of gender-based violence. Ms. MacGregor develops and delivers training programs for agencies seeking to promote better understanding of the issues facing women survivors and to focus on personal and political advocacy for women survivors. WomenatthecentrE also works to engage men and boys in their initiatives to eradicate violence against women.
Mr. Jermal Alleyne is a co-founder and board member of Next Gen Men, an organization aimed at creating spaces to engage, educate, and empower men and boys around gender. He was a former Program director at Next Gen Men and the primary facilitator for their after-school programs from 2014-2018. Jermal has also worked as a facilitator for the John Howard Society’s Partner Assault Response program for those charged with domestic assault. Currently, he works at Conestoga College as a Student Engagement Programmer with a focus on community integration. Mr. Alleyne will speak to his experiences working on the frontline engaging men and boys on masculinities.
Ms. Eva Kratochvil, Social Justice Activist, Hiatus House
Ms. Eva Kratochvil describes herself as a social justice activist but this survivor, shelter worker, and author has much more to offer. Ms. Kratochvil has been a frontline shelter worker for the past nineteen years and has served on the board of the Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses, a provincial coalition founded by women’s shelter advocates. In 2013, she was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her activism in the areas of homelessness and mental illness. In 2016, she co-wrote a play, performed at the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness Conference, about and featuring women who have first-hand experience of homelessness. A passionate social justice activist, Ms. Kratochvil is dedicated to giving a voice to the oppressed. Ms. Kratochvil was recently recognized for her leadership and innovative ideas, being named a finalist for The Lieutenant Governor’s Visionaries Prize for Reconciliation.