This research framework, which competed successfully in the 2008 CIHR open operating grants competition, focuses on protocols to measure the impact of community-led interventions to reduce domestic violence in Aboriginal communities. The project develops and tests tools and procedures for a randomized controlled trial of prevention of family violence. Women’s shelters mainly deal with victims of domestic violence, and the framework also addresses other types of domestic violence (male and female children, elderly, and disabled). The partner shelters are in Aboriginal communities across Canada, on and off reserve, in most provinces and territories. The baseline study applies a questionnaire developed by the shelters. Testing the stepped wedge design in an Aboriginal context, shelters randomized themselves to two waves of intervention, half the shelters receiving the resources for the first wave. A repeat survey after two years will measure the difference between first wave and second wave, after which the resources will shift to the second wave. At least two Aboriginal researchers will complete their doctoral studies in the project. The steering committee of 12 shelter directors guides the project and ensures ethical standards related to their populations. Each participating community and the University of Ottawa reviewed and passed the proposal.
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