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The following resource is part of the Family Violence Initiative, funded by the RCMP. Find similar tools by searching for the FVIF tag or consult the list of available resources.


Presentation slides - English
Présentation - Français

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January 26th, 2017
10am PST - 1pm EST


What do we know about the experience of older women living in situations of domestic violence? 

We know that older women face unique challenges due to intersecting biases at the individual, community, and societal levels. We know that there is little research or services devoted to older women. The lack of specific research reveals the way that ageism and sexism are encoded into societal values, perspectives and policies.  Unseen and unexamined, the issue remains on the margins of family violence research and understanding. Raising the profile of intimate partner violence and older women requires a willingness to look into our own fears and biases about aging and also violence in couple relationships.

The webinar will include two presenters:  

  • Lori Weeks will take a wide look at existing research through an ecological lens to surface key findings and potential supports for older women experiencing abuse.
  • Margaret MacPherson will use a specific situation taken from life to offer practical information about bystander actions everyone can take to recognize warning signs and respond safely and effectively.

About the presenters:

imageMargaret MacPherson
Margaret is a Research Associate with the Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children at Western University in London Ontario.  Her work at the Centre has focused on designing materials and programs to engage the public as potential first responders to violence and abuse in relationships, both in communities and in the workplace. She has a keen interest in developing practical tools and strategies that can shift social norms that inhibit people from taking safe, effective action.
Margaret led a New Horizons pan Canadian project from 2011 to 2015 that produced innovative materials and strategies for “It’s Not Right! Neighbours, Friends and Families for Older Adults”. (INR-NFF) takes a bystander approach to engage everyone in recognizing and supporting older Canadians experiencing abuse or neglect. The Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and other passionate advocates partnered on the project and continue to work toward the goal of national social change on the issue.  Margaret also works as a private consultant leading social justice projects that are often experimental and emergent.  She has been working in this field for over twenty years. Margaret has a Masters degree in Theory and Criticism and completed a graduate diploma in Social Innovation at the University of Waterloo in 2011.

lori weeksLori Weeks
Dr. Lori Weeks is a Gerontologist who completed a Ph.D. and a Graduate Certificate in Gerontology at Virginia Tech in 1998. Lori worked in assisted living in her home province of Prince Edward Island for three years before becoming a faculty member at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) from 2001-2014. She taught courses at UPEI focused on families and gerontology including family violence, women and aging, and issues in family law and social policy. In January, 2015, Lori joined Dalhousie University as an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing. Her primary research interests focus on care and support services for older adults and their caregivers, and factors affecting the health of seniors. Her research often focuses on vulnerable populations. Lori has conducted research on the abuse of older adults with particular focuses on supports for older abused women and training peer educators to raise awareness about elder abuse.She serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Women and Aging and is a member of the Abuse and Neglect of Older Adults Research Team in the Maritimes (ANOART), a research team affiliated with the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research at the University of New Brunswick. She has received awards from UPEI for research, teaching and service. 



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