A collaborative response to addressing family violence with racialized and diverse communities during pandemic recovery in Peel region
The COVID‑19 pandemic has greatly impacted the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities around the world. Public health interventions such as social distancing and “lock-downs” have led to indirect and wider health consequences such as family violence. Improving access to survivor-centred services and community resources can help improve outcomes for people experiencing family violence, yet many survivors and their families face barriers to accessing holistic and culturally appropriate services. Previous research with racialized and diverse communities shows the need for multilevel approaches that consider individual, family, community, and systemic factors. The Peel region, Ontario, in which our project is based, has seen some of the highest rates of COVID‑19 infections in Canada and is an ideal setting for understanding how racialized and diverse communities have experienced family violence throughout the pandemic. Building from the region’s Community Safety and Well-being plan, we will engage a diverse group of community members who have experienced family violence, service providers, and researchers to guide all project activities. Through photo-narrative methods, a community prioritization activity, and a hackathon-style event, we will explore experiences of family violence and co-create preventative interventions during pandemic recovery that are evidence-informed and culturally sensitive to help racialized and diverse families at-risk of experiencing family violence in Peel. This project presents an opportunity for collective innovation to develop meaningful and accessible interventions that could prevent family violence during future health emergencies and pandemics. By centering community voices, we expect these family violence preventative interventions will be relevant to diverse communities across geographical settings and can be tested and evaluated in other regions of Ontario and Canada.