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Master of Arts




Scott, Katreena


This study aims to identify the level of alignment between competent GBV work as identified in literature and by current service providers. Identifying areas of alignment and difference allows for developing theory-based practice informed by literature and highlights potentially unexplored areas of research. The study does this through thematic coding of interviews with GBV service providers across Canada, and coding of practice-based behaviour items constructed from current literature. Interview analysis revealed eleven themes of behaviour which were compared with ten themes developed from the coding of 140 literature documents. Triangulation from interviews and literature found that, of the eleven themes identified from interviews, ten matched with themes identified with the literature. The differences observed imply that there is a need for comprehensive theory informing practice in areas like Indigeneity, and honour-based violence. It also highlights the possibility of introducing the role of motherhood into research being done in the sector.

Summary for Lay Audience

According to self-report data collected by the Government of Canada, 44% of women who have ever been in an intimate relationship – or about 6.2 million women - report having experienced a form of intimate partner violence in their lifetime. In contrast, 61% of Indigenous women reported experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV) in their lifetime. This highlights the need for services to be equipped to respond to individual needs in service provision. It is important to gauge the degree to which there is a match between current available literature and expert practice in the sector. This study aims to identify the level of alignment between practice behaviours identified by service providers in interviews and behaviours found in the literature. This research is being done to attempt to highlight and explore the gaps between theory and practice, and to understand where there is differentiation between current literature and work being done by experts in practice. Using a mixed-methodological approach that involves inductive narrative approaches, specifically interviews with GBV experts across Canada, and analysis of practice-based behaviour items constructed from thematic coding of current literature, it has been observed that there is consistency across theory and practice: experts already retain knowledge and understanding of intersectionality, with their interview responses largely matching what has already been identified in the literature. Interview analysis revealed expert responses converging into eleven themes around complex-practice based behaviours. These were then compared with twenty-five literature items that focused on service-user centred care. Of the eleven themes coded from interviews, all but one matched with literature items. Variance was observed in the depth and specificity of practice behaviours. It was observed that service providers can identify nuances in identity that inform a woman’s unique experience of violence, that the literature sometimes fails to capture. The significance of this study is to understand what experts are considering to be essential parts of IPV work. These behaviours can be used to create a method of training that potentially creates a certain standard of IPV work.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.