Speaker Spotlights

Read up on some of the expert speakers who were featured at #LINK2017!

The CFHS Canadian Violence Link Conference featured Canada's most sought-after thought leaders on violence against human beings and animals, and the intersections between these crimes. Read more about the fascinating work of our speakers below and the valuable insights they offered on the violence link at #LINK2017.

Julie S. Lalonde on the need for training on sexual assault disclosures
Julie Lalonde is an internationally-recognized women’s rights advocate and public speaker who works with various organizations dedicated to ending sexual violence, engaging bystanders and building communities of support. She is the site director of Hollaback! Ottawa and the manager of Draw-the-line.ca, a provincial anti-sexual violence campaign funded by the province of Ontario. At #LINK2017, Julie offered training on dos and don'ts of responding to sexual assault disclosures. As Julie says, disclosures happen in every sector - including animal services - and it's best to gain these skills before you need them. 

Dr. Rebecca Ledger on the prosecution of psychological suffering in animals
Dr. Ledger is a British Columbia-based animal behaviour and animal welfare scientist. In recent years, Rebecca has pioneered the use of behavioural evidence in cases where animals have suffered psychologically. Having been retained on 30 cases to date involving more than 40 individual animals, the process she has developed has allowed humane organizations to successfully gain warrants, lay charges and prosecute cruelty cases involving dogs and cats, often in the absence of any physical evidence. She offered training on her process at #LINK2017.

Marcie Moriarty on the importance of broad training on animal abuse
Marcie Moriarty is the Chief Prevention and Enforcement Officer for the British Columbia SPCA. With separate degrees in animal biology and law, Marcie draws on both sides of her education and experience in her work. In this interview with CFHS, she discusses her presentation at the Canadian Violence Link Conference, which was focused on training non animal welfare professionals, like police officers and social workers, about animal cruelty enforcement and prosecution.

Dr. Amy Fitzgerald, PhD, presents groundbreaking Canadian research on pets and domestic violence
Dr. Amy Fitzgerald, PhD, is an Associate Professor in Criminology and in the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research at the University of Windsor. She is also the Director of the newly formed Animal and Interpersonal Abuse Research Group. Her research focuses on the intersection of harms – criminal and otherwise – against people, animals, and the environment. Her most recent research on the co-occurrence of animal abuse and intimate partner violence has been published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Anthrozoos and Violence and Victims. She presented her findings at #LINK2017.

Dayna Rose-Desmarais on safe housing networks for pets
Dayna is the President of the Board of SafePet Ottawa, which provides safe foster homes to animals so that women and children can leave abusive situations without fearing for the safety of their pets. She spoke to the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies about her work with SafePet Ottawa and the focus of her session at the 2017 CFHS Canadian Violence Link Conference.

Dr. Frank Ascione, PhD, on the causes of kindness and cruelty in children and the connection to violent households
Dr. Frank Ascione, one of our #LINK2017 expert speakers, speaks to CFHS about how tendencies toward kindness and cruelty form in children. Dr. Ascione is an internationally-renowned researcher and author on the development of antisocial and prosocial behaviour in children with more than 40 years of research experience on the intersections between animal abuse and interpersonal violence. He presented on the progression of research and action on the violence link in his conference presentation.