The One Health Education Committee helps improve the quality of life of animals and humans by providing education for animal welfare and human service professionals. This 6-part Violence Link Webinar Series explores the complex relationship between animal abuse and violence towards people.

Domestic Violence: What to Know, Say and Do

Presenter: Jo-Anne Dusel, Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan (PATHS)

Tuesday, May 3, 2022 at 12 p.m. SK Time

Domestic violence impacts everyone in a family, including pets. Unfortunately, many people aren’t aware of the warning signs of abuse and are in long term relationships before they realize what is happening. It can be difficult to know how to get out or to ask for help. It is also difficult to know how to support someone who is living with abuse. This presentation will cover warning signs and risk factors, statistics on prevalence and why it can be difficult to get out of abusive situations, the link between abuse of people and their pets, and how to find resources near you.

About the speaker:

Jo-Anne is the Executive Director of the Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan (PATHS). She is a long-time social justice advocate who spent two decades working with women survivors at Moose Jaw Transition House. She is currently co-chair of the Board of Directors for Women’s Shelters Canada and is frequently consulted by the media on issues related to violence against women.

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Older Adult Abuse and Neglect

Presenter: Holly Schick, Saskatchewan Seniors Mechanism

Thursday, May 12, 2022 at 12 p.m. SK Time

The presentation will provide an overview of older adult abuse including the factors that add complexity to abuse within this demographic.  Some of the risk factors and signs to watch for will be identified.  Some possible resources and ideas for responding will also be offered.

About the speaker:

Holly Schick is the executive director at SSM (Saskatchewan Seniors Mechanism), a position she has been in for 11 years.  She works with SSM’s 18 member organizations, with a collective membership of approximately 100,000 older adults, to identify and address issues of concern to all older adults in Saskatchewan. 

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Child and Family Programs Overview

Presenter: Mitch Paton, Child and Family Programs

Tuesday, May 17, 2022 at 12 p.m. SK Time

The presentation is about mandated services offered through Child and Family Programs. It also reviews various types of child abuse and neglect. As well as an outline of what involvement looks like when working with Child and Family Programs.

About the speaker:

I completed my Bachelor of Social Work in 2010 with the University of Regina. I started working at Child and Family Programs at the same time and have held a number of positions within the organization. Currently I am an assistant supervisor for the intake unit and have extensive experience as an investigator. In my spare time I enjoy fishing, working on cars and recently began gardening.

Please note:  a recording for the Child and Family Programs Overview webinar will NOT be available.

Animal Abuse & the Violence Link

Presenter: Don Ferguson, Animal Protection Services of Saskatchewan

POSTPONED:  future date to be determined

An overview of the link between animal abuse and interpersonal violence.

About the speaker:

Don Ferguson is the Executive Director of Animal Protection Services of Saskatchewan. It is the Animal Protection Agency responsible for enforcing the Animal Protection Act in Saskatchewan except for in Regina and Saskatoon. Prior to this he has investigated over 4000 files of animal cruelty and neglect with the Alberta SPCA and Calgary Humane Society as a Peace Officer under the Animal Protection Act of Alberta. He has also instructed at the Justice and Solicitor General Staff College providing instruction for the Alberta Peace Officer Investigator Program. Don is a Registered Veterinary Technologist with the Saskatchewan Veterinary Medical Association and completed his diploma in 2005 from Lakeland College in Vermilion, AB. Prior to his law enforcement career, he served 20 years in the Canadian Armed Forces with the Canadian Airborne Regiment and the 1st Battalion of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry.

The Link between animal abuse and interpersonal violence as well as other criminal and antisocial behaviors

Presenter: Dr. Margaret Doyle, VCA Canada Riverbend Animal Hospital

Thursday, May 26, 2022 at 12 p.m. SK Time

Investigation into the areas of overlap between animal abuse and other criminal activity has shown that animal abuse is not a crime that happens in a vacuum. The perpetrators of crimes against animals are inevitably committing other acts of violent or antisocial behavior. This lecture will discuss the most common areas of overlap, and discuss some of the signs of animal abuse that can help signal a need for further investigation.

In the complex relationship that describes how perpetrators of domestic violence abuse their victims, there are numerous ways that animals are used as weapons, and we frequently see them become victims of collateral damage. Veterinary medical associations around the world recognize that veterinarians are frequently the only point of contact for victims of violence in the home, making us front line workers in the fight against domestic violence. This lecture will highlight the importance of a multi-agency or multifaceted response to animal abuse in an effort to ensure the safety of both humans and animals.

About the speaker:

Graduating with a veterinary degree from the University College Dublin, Dr. Doyle returned to Canada to practice in 2009. She subsequently obtained a certificate and a Masters in Veterinary Forensics from the University of Florida. Dr. Doyle has lectured across North America, and Internationally to veterinarians, law enforcement and crown prosecutors on the recognition and reporting of animal abuse. As an advocate for awareness of the Link, she lectures on the need for mandated reporting among veterinarians and a need for broadening the scope of investigations involving the intersections of violence against all living beings.

Currently based in Calgary, Alberta, at the VCA Riverbend Animal Hospital Dr. Doyle provides services from crime scene analysis and photography, to forensic necropsies and live examinations. Dr. Doyle was the first person to be qualified as an expert witness to testify in the field of veterinary forensics in the Court of Queens Bench in Alberta. She has consulted with law enforcement agencies across Canada on cases of intentional and unintentional animal abuse.

Animal Sexual Abuse in the Context of the Production of Child Sexual Abuse Material - A review of “multiple offender” cases

Presenters: Monique St. Germain and Debra Danco, Canadian Centre for Child Protection Inc.

Tuesday, May 31, 2022 at 12 p.m. SK Time

The Canadian Centre for Child Protection Inc. recently completed a study involving a review of all reported criminal case law in Canada where an individual recorded the sexual abuse of a child which occurred in person (as opposed to over webcam). The time period of review was 2001-2019, and several cases were identified that involved more than one offender perpetrating the abuse. The majority of those cases involved at least one male and one female offender, and a significant proportion also involved either the sexual violation of an animal, or the possession of one or more recordings or writings focused on animal sexual abuse. This session will highlight information from those cases as well as cases identified from 2020 on. The objective of the session will be to:

  • Raise awareness of the observed link between the production of child sexual abuse material and animal sexual abuse offending in Canadian case law
  • Identify the factors that appear in multiple offender scenarios that involve some form of animal sexual abuse as well as the production of child sexual abuse material
  • Offer recommendations for policy makers, and those who investigate child or animal abuse cases

About the speakers:

Monique St. Germain is General Counsel of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection Inc., which operates Cybertip.ca, Canada’s tipline to report the online sexual exploitation of children. Monique leads the Centre’s legal department and is a key member of the senior management team at the Centre. The legal team works collaboratively with and supports all legal aspects of the Canadian Centre’s work, conducts legal research, and closely monitors case law that relates to the sexual abuse and exploitation of children in order to identify gaps and inform the Centre’s position on a variety of legal and public policy issues. For the past four years, the Centre’s legal team has coordinated the recording and filing of victim impact statements from identified victims of child sexual abuse material, and files community impact statements on behalf of victims of child sexual abuse material in Canadian “child pornography” cases across Canada.  Monique has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada (R. v. Barabash, 2015 SCC 29), presented numerous times before the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights and the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, and conducted numerous presentations to Crown Attorneys and others.

Debra Danco is a Senior Associate Counsel in the Legal Department of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection Inc. Debra joined the Centre as an articling student in 2013, after completing her law studies at the University of Victoria. Prior to law school, Debra obtained a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Alberta. In her spare time, she loves volunteering with organizations that empower women in her community, and is an avid hiker and canoeist.

Trigger Warning:  This presentation includes real-life case examples which may be disturbing to some attendees.

Register for the May 31st Webinar

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