Reducing the impact of intimate partner violence and substance use on women’s health.

Women who experience intimate partner violence (IPV) have significantly higher rates of substance use and mental health concerns, and these mental health and substance use issues can often develop in response to IPV. Women often need a dual approach that responds to IPV and SU together as they access anti-violence and substance use services. However, such integrated approaches are rare.

In the Strong Women project, the Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health (CEWH) is addressing this by creating and testing an intervention for use in anti-violence and substance use services across Canada to support women who have experienced both IPV and substance use. The intervention will be based on a workbook and social support for women who have experienced IPV, alcohol and/or tobacco use and related concerns. We are co-developing the content of the workbook, curriculum, and facilitator’s guide for a 6- session virtual group for women who have experienced both issues. It will highlight the linkages between IPV, trauma and substance use, motivate change, provide social support, and foster mental and physical health.

Who are we working with?

We are piloting the intervention in British Columbia before we test it across Canada, in partnership with the following:

What is our approach?

We are developing and testing the Strong Women intervention after reviewing the evidence, surveying and training service providers, co- developing materials and testing them in 6 sites. Our resulting intervention will be accessible to all.



CEWH acknowledges the financial support of the Public Health Agency of Canada