Stopping the Cycle of Family Violence
Abuse is a serious issue for families and children in Canada and around the world. It has been estimated that, in Canada, family violence accounts for one quarter of the violent crime reported to police. Moreover, national studies have found that some 45 in every 100,000 children are investigated by child protective services each year, and that between seven and eight per cent of men and women have experienced some type of violence in their intimate relationships in the past five years.
Family violence takes its toll not only on the people directly involved, but also at the social and community levels. Both child abuse and interpersonal violence have been recognized as important risk factors for developing mental health disorders, addictions and criminal activity, and in perpetuating cycles of family violence. There is also a growing consensus that childhood experiences of family violence have long-term effects on people’s physical health and, ultimately, how long they can expect to live.
As Canada Research Chair in Family Violence Prevention and Intervention, Dr. Katreena Scott will examine the real costs of family violence. Specifically, she will study the impact of childhood and adolescent abuse, and try to determine the specific pathways that can lead from early abuse experiences to violence in adulthood.
Her research includes unique studies on the policies and practices necessary for effective intervention with fathers who have abused their children; understanding and preventing the development of intimate-partner violence; and identifying best practices in intervention with men who have been abusive toward their intimate partners. Most importantly, she hopes to find out what can be done to prevent family violence and the cycle of abuse to which it leads.