The Ontario Woman Abuse Screening Project was first piloted in London-Middlesex in 2002-2003 through a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation which provided funding to pilot and evaluate the implementation of the Routine Universal Comprehensive Screening Protocol tool within the mental health and addiction sectors in London and Middlesex County. The outcomes of the pilot were evaluated to be extremely successful and the project resulted in permanent systemic changes which enhanced the provision of services to abused women with mental health and/or addiction issues. Due to the success in London-Middlesex, search many of the participating agencies have continued to champion this work and are part of the current Provincial Steering Committee.

The manual on the pilot project, Implementing a Woman Abuse Screening Protocol: Facilitating Connections between Mental Health, Addictions and Woman Abuse (2007, PDF, 134 pages, 2.5 MB), found that the introduction of screening for woman abuse/sexual assault/trauma and of woman abuse/sexual assault/trauma-informed services achieved the following objectives:

For the women accessing services:

  • Facilitated access to services that will provide appropriate counselling and supports for woman abuse, sexual assault and abuse-related trauma.
  • Improved support from current mental health and/or addiction workers.

For the staff:

  • Improved identification of women who have been abused/sexually assaulted or are being abused in their lives.
  • Increased recognition of woman abuse, sexual assault and abuse-related trauma and their impact on health.
  • Improved understanding of the interrelationships between woman abuse/sexual assault/abuse-related trauma services and mental health and addiction issues.
  • Increased skill competency to effectively respond to and support abused women to whom they are providing service.

The single most important factor in the success of this project has been the long-standing and on-going relationships that have been developed and that continue to nurture.

For more information about the London-MIddlesex region, click any of the links to the right.