The RAIV is the logical continuation of the Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire sur la violence familiale et la violence faite aux femmes (CRI-VIFF, centre for interdisciplinary research on family violence and violence against women), which has been accredited by Université Laval’s research commission since 2006. It has played a catalyzing role for more than 25 years in Québec’s expertise and applied research regarding both violence in the family and against women.

Created in 1992 in the wake of the development of the Alliance of Canadian Research Centres on Violence after the mass shooting at Montréal’s École Polytechnique, it remains the largest scientific research centre in this field in French-speaking Canada. The Centre has obtained considerable financing since it received its first federal funding in 1992.

The Centre recently underwent a major redefinition and restructuring which led to the renewal of the entire program, taking into account the evolution of knowledge in intimate, family, and structural violence. These changes are reflected in the Centre’s new name, the RAIV (applied, interdisciplinary research on intimate, family, and structural violence). Violence against women and children will continue to be studied, but will now be combined with that endured by other groups who are vulnerable to violence because of unequal power relations (gender, race, class, etc.) in our societies.


The RAIV is an interdisciplinary, partnership-based centre. It has 89 members, in addition to his many students: 30 co-researchers and 39 research collaborators, for the most part from outside of the Province of Québec, 20 partners from the practice fields, of whom 15 are regulars members. Its members come from various disciplines: social work, law, criminology, feminist studies, psychoeducation, psychology, public administration, anthropology, sexology, visual arts, design, measure and evaluation, epidemiology, and public health.


As a research centre accredited by the Université Laval’s research commission, the RAIV receives annualfinancial support and is also supported by the FRQSC as a Strategic Clusters.

Funding Agencies and Programs

The research projects of the RAIV members are financed by various organizations and programs, most notably:

  • Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
  • Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture (FRQSC)
  • Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé
  • Québec's Ministère de la Justice (MJ)
  • Ministère de la Sécurité publique du Québec
  • Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec
  • Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE)
  • Secrétariat à la condition féminine du Québec

Management and coordination

  • Geneviève Lessard, Scientific Director of the RAIV and IPV Research Team
  • Valérie Meunier, Co-Director from the Partners of the IPV Research Team
  • Catherine Rossi, Scientific Director of the Vi-J Research Team
  • Karoline Blais, Administrative Coordinator
  • Caroline Robitaille, Scientific Coordinator of the IPV Research Team
  • Imane Lahrizi, Scientific Coordinator of the RAIV and Vi-J Research Team
  • Isabelle Charette, Executive Secretary


The objective of the RAIV is to study the links between violence in intimate and family relationships and the social responses that help counter or perpetuate the structural oppression experienced by certain social groups. Particular attention is paid to power relationships in intimate and family situations, but likewise between social groups and between individuals and institutions. Our research documents the factors associated with intimate, family, and structural violence, the links between different forms of violence perpetrated or endured in different life contexts, and the consequences for individuals, families, and society. It likewise documents the social responses to this violence (community and institutional services, legal, systemic, and state responses), and this at the different levels of the intervention continuum, be they primary, secondary or tertiary prevention.

Areas of Research

Area of research 1. Violence in intimate and family relationships

What are the similarities and differences, the factors that are common or specific to different types of violence in different social groups? How does violence, whether perpetrated or endured, concurrent or sequential, change one’s life course? What influences the emergence of violence, its consequences, its reoccurrence, the way it is expressed?

Work conducted in this area of research helps to identify the elements associated with the emergence of intimate and family violence, as well as recidivism and revictimization, taking into account the relationship between time (life course) and context (type of violence and groups).

         Co-directors: Valérie Meunier, Myriam Dubé, and Lisa Ellington

  • Similarities and differences, factors common or specific to different types of violence
  • Violence perpetrated or endured, occurring concurrently or sequentially in various contexts and stages of life
  • Consequences of endured violence and protection factors

Area of research 2. Structural violence and social justice

Do social-legal responses help to prevent victimization, or do they perpetuate it by engendering structural violence? Is it possible to humanize the law through innovation that focuses on social justice? What are the characteristics of psychosocial or legal practices that help to reduce structural violence by fostering more egalitarian social relations?

Work in this area of research helps to identify obstacles to social justice for victims and perpetrators of violence and to document innovative practices fostering devictimization and social reintegration.

            Co-directors: Serge Charbonneau, Catherine Rossi and Annie Vézina

  • Contribution of social responses that prevent or perpetuate the structural violence experienced by certain groups
  • Characteristics of practices fostering more egalitarian social relations
  • Evaluation of innovative approaches fostering access to social justice

Area of research 3. Service continuum: analysis, evaluation, and dialogue

What are the effects of the practices in the short, medium, and long term? Which factors foster change? How can we innovate in violence prevention? How can we ensure better service continuity? How can we better adapt our interventions to the multiple and different needs of people in violent situations?

To prevent violence in our societies, a comprehensive approach has the advantage of taking into account various groups and levels of action. Work in this area of research helps us to better understand the challenges and opportunities engendered by collaborative practices, to develop innovative tools and programs, and to evaluate current practices and policies.

         Co-directors: Julie Laforest, Valérie Roy, and Véronique Menand

  • Prevention
  • Psychosocial interventions
  • Laws and social policies