Inspiring Minds seeks to broaden awareness and impact of graduate student research, while enhancing transferable skills. Students were challenged to describe their research, scholarship or creative activity in 150 or fewer words to share with our community.

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Gender-based violence and breast cancer: A threat to women’s health equity in Canada

In Canada, intimate partner violence (IPV) and breast cancer are pervasive public health concerns that disproportionately affect women. However, the intersection of these issues is often overlooked, despite an estimated 1 in 8 breast cancer patients experiencing IPV at the same time as cancer – and often facing health disparities as a result. I study the biopsychosocial relationships between breast cancer and IPV in Canada, with the goal of exploring health disparities and lived experiences. Additionally, I am co-creating a trauma- and violence-informed clinical tool for breast cancer healthcare providers in collaboration with patients, oncology teams, IPV professionals, and non profit organizations. Overall, I aim to shed light on the experiences of Canadian women who experience IPV and breast cancer and promote improved health outcomes among this equity deserving group.

Cara Davidson 
PhD candidate, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Faculty of Health Sciences - Western University

Tara Mantler

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Cara is a PhD candidate at Western University in the Measurement and Methods stream of the Health and Rehabilitation Sciences program. She is supported by a Canada Graduate Scholarship (Doctoral) from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Cara specializes in interdisciplinary women’s health research, with an emphasis on equity, gender-based violence, and trauma. Her doctoral work explores the biopsychosocial relationships between gender-based violence and breast cancer among Canadian women. She is also developing a clinical tool that will enhance the capacity of breast cancer care teams to provide individualized trauma- and violence-informed care to patients who have experienced gender-based violence. Ultimately, Cara aims to shed light on the experiences of women with breast cancer who have been affected by gender-based violence and support improved health outcomes among this equity-deserving patient population.

You can connect with Cara on LinkedIn at and via email at

View Cara's work as it appears in the Inspiring Minds Digital Collection:

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