The FREDA Centre for Research on Violence Against Women and Children
The FREDA Centre is one of five violence research centres established in 1992 with a five-year grant from Health Canada and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). It began as a partnership between Simon Fraser University (SFU), the University of British Columbia (UBC), and the Vancouver Community Research Centre. The FREDA Centre resides within the School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University. Since 1997, the Centre has been operating on the basis of project-specific grants. The FREDA Centre works closely with grass-roots community organizations, and its offices are located at SFU’s downtown Vancouver campus, in close proximity to those of its community partners.
The mandate of the FREDA Centre is to facilitate and conduct research on violence against women and children, in order to raise awareness and effect policy.
FREDA conducts qualitative collaborative research using a participatory action based approach. The Centre works with community groups, frontline service providers, and policy-makers to produce research that is relevant and useable. Current research projects cover a wide variety of issues and examine the issue of violence from a systemic (i.e., societal) and interpersonal perspective. FREDA previously sponsored the GoGirls Group – a facilitated group that focused on skills development and fun. GoGirls members also served as research consultants for FREDA’s Status of Women study on girls and their experiences. Research reports produced by the FREDA Centre are diverse and include an analysis of the sexual exploitation and trafficking of young women; violence against marginalized girls; a parenting guide for single mothers of children who have witnessed violence; the links between violence and eating disorders; trends concerning violence against women; an analysis of the Violence Against Women in Relationships (VAWIR) Policy; and the implications of records disclosure legislation.
Our research methods include critical analysis of the existing literature, qualitative interviews with community members and organizations, analysis of policies and legislation, and discourse analysis where appropriate. Research methods vary according to the topic being investigated and the nature of the collaborative relationship between the affected communities and the researchers.
The Alliance of Canadian Research Centres on Violence
The FREDA Centre is a member of the Alliance of Canadian Research Centres on Violence, formed in 1996 by the five initial violence research centres. Since that time the Alliance has engaged in national collaborative research projects, including a project on Violence Prevention and the Girl Child, funded by Status of Women Canada. For more information on the Alliance’s report, please consult the FREDA Centre. The Alliance now consists of seven violence research centres across Canada (see links page). The mission of the Alliance is to build community and academic partnerships to carry out research and public education to eliminate violence against women and children, and family violence.
The Canadian Observatory on the Justice System’s Response to Intimate Partner Violence
The FREDA Centre is a network participant for the Canadian Observatory on the Justice System’s Response to Intimate Partner Violence, directed by Dr. Carmen Gill at the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research. The Canadian Observatory was developed in collaboration with the Alliance, and was launched in September 2007. It has since expanded to include an international network of researchers, practitioners, and policy-makers who work in partnership to identify policies and strategies to address intimate partner violence. The mission of the Canadian Observatory is to conduct research that will ensure the uptake of new knowledge by stakeholders and that will encourage a multi-sectoral coordinated effort to reduce and eliminate intimate partner violence and to establish an effective system across Canada.