Toolkit

Guidance for Conducting Trauma-and Violence- Informed Programs During a Pandemic, Natural Disaster, Crisis, or Other Emergency Situation

2022

Guidance for Conducting Trauma-and Violence- Informed Programs During a Pandemic, Natural Disaster, Crisis, or Other Emergency Situation

4 months ago 4 months ago Published by
This toolkit was developed by the Centre for Research & Education on Violence against Women & Children, Western University.

HERE’S HOW THE CREATORS DESCRIBE THIS TOOLKIT:

This guidance document has been developed for practitioners conducting community-based intervention programs during a crisis with individuals who have experienced gender-based violence (GBV).

Economic, epidemiological, and environmental crises such as COVID-19 are a catalyst for gender-based violence. Social isolation, perceptions of risk, and changes to health and social services may leave individuals with fewer options for reporting, receiving supports, or escaping the violence they experience. Fear, stigma, and xenophobia place marginalized individuals at increased risk of violence and intensify disparities creating barriers to services. Moreover, threats to the wellbeing of health and social service providers are compounded in times of crisis by the effects of increased work demands, exposure to crisis-related dangers, and pre-existing system inadequacies.

Interventions or support programs carried out during a time of crisis should reduce risk, promote resilience, and aid recovery by increasing safety and security, social connections and wellbeing, and support lasting solutions to gender-based violence. While a promising practice in general, trauma- and violence-informed programming and program delivery is essential during crises. Individuals experiencing GBV and navigating the impacts of economic, epidemiological or environmental crises require and deserve supports that foster safety, empowerment, collaboration, trust, and choice.

The guidance provided in this document is based in part on the experiences of the Knowledge Hub Community of Practice members who were involved in providing trauma- and violence-informed interventions during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as published literature and guidelines from a variety of sources. We believe this guidance may be applicable to other circumstances that require plans for programming and/or program delivery to be modified (e.g. extreme climate events or other disasters affecting communities).

When a local, national or global crisis occurs, it will mean making decisions on if and how you should begin or continue with your intervention. This guidance offers trauma- and violence-informed considerations for adapting intervention programs and/or program delivery.

Baker, L. L., & Straatman, A. L. (2022). Guidance for conducting trauma- and violence- informed community-based programs during a pandemic, natural disaster, crisis, or other emergency situation. Knowledge Hub, Centre for Research & Education on Violence against Women & Children, Western University. https://kh-cdc.ca/en/resources/guides/guide1/index.html

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