A free e-learning course from UBC researchers provides education for staff at women’s shelters to recognize signs and symptoms of brain injury in survivors of intimate partner violence. According to the World Health Organization, one in three women will experience intimate partner violence; most will also suffer a brain injury. COVID-19, and the fact many women were forced to self-isolate with their abuser, has only heightened the need for the training.
To tackle this issue and explore the intersection of brain injury in intimate partner violence, Paul van Donkelaar, professor of health and exercise sciences at UBC Okanagan and the principal researcher on the project, together with Karen Mason, former executive director of the Kelowna Women’s Shelter, formed the Supporting Survivors of Abuse and Brain Injury through Research (SOAR) initiative, based at UBC Okanagan. Through a collaboration with Shelina Babul, clinical associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics at UBC, SOAR launched a novel version of the Concussion Awareness Training Tool (CATT)—an online training system developed to standardize concussion recognition, diagnosis, treatment, and management.
CATT for Women’s Support Workers is a 45-minute video-based interactive course that features a series of online educational modules and resources, including the voice of a real survivor of violence. The course is available nationwide in English and French. View the course at https://cattonline.com/womens-support-workers.
The project is funded by Women and Gender Equality Canada and the Max Bell Foundation. For more information about SOAR, visit www.soarproject.ca or follow @CanadaSoar on Twitter or @SoarProjectCanada on Facebook.
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