Wendy Craig and her team have secured $550K from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Empowering educators to combat gender-based violence

In Canada, family and gender-related violence present significant public health concerns, casting long-lasting impacts on communities and creating generational trauma. These issues manifest in various forms, including physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, as well as neglect. Educators and teachers, who advocate for and nurture the physical and mental health of youth, can play a key role in helping to support victims of gender-based violence.

Queen’s researcher Wendy Craig (Psychology), the Co-Scientific Director of the Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network (PREVNet), has secured $550,000 in funding from the Government of Canada to develop intervention tools and informational resources specifically designed to address gender-based violence within the student sector.

Her project aims to develop accessible, interactive, and evidence-based training modules to assist Canadian educators in recognizing, preventing, and responding to gender-based violence among youth. The initiative identifies various forms of gender-based violence, such as bullying (including homophobia, transphobia, sexism, etc.), teen dating violence, and sexual harassment.

The research aims to foster safer and more inclusive environments in schools by enhancing educators’ awareness, knowledge, confidence, and capacity around gender-based violence. Dr. Craig and her team will lead the project, delivered through PREVNet, a national research hub dedicated to promoting healthy relationships among children and youth. Their efforts will involve collaboration with key stakeholders nationwide with a specific emphasis on developing trauma-informed resources.

Since its establishment, PREVNet has been an effective and well-funded network, receiving over $10 million in government, public, and private sector funding for knowledge mobilization activities aimed at preventing violence and promoting healthy relationships. Under Dr. Craig’s leadership, PREVNet has led a successful Community of Practice (CoP) to address youth dating violence for the past four years, connecting 21 intervention research projects across Canada.

This $550,000 investment is part of broader government efforts, including a significant investment in the National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence. It aligns with the federal Gender-Based Violence Strategy, reflecting ongoing efforts to address this critical issue in Canada.

To learn more, read the Government of Canada’s complete news release on this funding announcement.

Note: This story was originally published in the Queen's Gazette.