Responding to
trauma-related abuse
A toolkit and guide for professionals in addiction, mental health and primary care
A safe and welcoming screening environment

Create a private space to screen for domestic violence
Their hopes in their words

Women who have lived with domestic violence helped create this toolkit.
Responding to
trauma-related abuse
A toolkit and guide for professionals in addiction, mental health and primary care
A safe and welcoming screening environment

Create a private space to screen for domestic violence
Their hopes in their words

Women who have lived with domestic violence helped create this toolkit.
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This guide offers appropriate screening practices to identify the symptoms of trauma in women.
Trauma is the direct personal experience of an event that involves actual or threatened death or serious injury, or the threat of death or injury of another person such as a child or family member. Through this toolkit, service providers in mental health and addiction can create more effective referral systems for female victims of domestic violence.

The journey away from violence is never straightforward.

Multiple Entry Points

Female victims use multiple entry points to access services. It is important that no matter which entry point is used, survivors of abuse receive consistent care.

Emergency Services

(Hospital Emergency Personnel, After-Hours Clinic Doctors/Nurses)
Read more

Criminal Justice Professionals

(RCMP, Police, Crown Prosecutors, Victim Services, Legal Aid, etc.)
Read more

Primary Care Providers

(General Practitioner, Physician Assistant, Nurse Practitioner)
Read more

Domestic Violence Services

(Transition House and Outreach Services)
Read more
home pie chartMore than 80% of female domestic violence victims experience mental health and/or addiction issues.*
*Reference: J. Barron, 2005. Women’s Aid: Guidance for Mental Health Professionals.

Female victims of domestic violence need better mental health and addiction outcomes.

Standard medical approaches are not enough, because they ignore the impact and consequences of trauma, which include a wide range of symptoms from self-harm to substance abuse. Instead, mental health and primary service providers need a “trauma-informed” approach, which recognizes these complexities. When applied across disciplines, this consistent and streamlined method will improve women’s lives.

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Toolkit for responding to trauma-related abuse

A guide for addictions, mental health and primary care professionals
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