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Watch Ramona Alaggia’s keynote address to OCSWSSW on mobilizing an anti-violence movement in a pandemic


Perspective, the official publication of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW) has published an interview with Professor Ramona Alaggia on gender and violence.

“Gender-based violence is one of the most pressing subjects of our time,” writes Perspective. “The recent rise of the #MeToo movement, the findings of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG), and the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 have put a huge media spotlight on gender-based violence and helped launch a broader discussion about the pervasive systemic issues at its root. More and more Canadians are paying attention.”

Ramona AlaggiaAlaggia is cross-appointed to the University of Toronto’s Women and Gender Studies Institute. She is also the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Chair in Child and Family. Her research focuses on gender and violence; child sexual abuse disclosures and mental health effects; intimate partner violence and structural barriers; and promoting ways to foster resilience processes in children, youth and adults exposed to violence.

In 2019, she received a four-year Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) grant to study the #MeToo movement’s relationship to disclosures of sexual violence in Canada. 

Alaggia spoke to Perspective about the major challenges and obstacles when it comes to addressing gender-based violence and what social workers and social service workers do to better support individuals affected by gender-based violence.

“We need to adopt strategies that go beyond helping one person at a time,” she said. “Working with clients directly – one-on-one engagement – is a vital aspect of the profession, but our collective efforts are just as necessary to change the laws and policies that inadvertently discriminate against, re-victimize and re-traumatize survivors.”

Alaggia gave the keynote address at OCSWSSW’s 2020 Annual Meeting. Her full presentation is now available online.