Our broad concern is to generate insights to foster child and family health equity. We are proposing to undertake research to to examine the ways structural violence operates in the day to day lives of children, youth & families living with marked social and material adversity in Vancouver's inner city. We propose to illustrate the impact of structural violence on health, child development & community well being and to use this analysis to inform the design of a Medical Legal Partnership (MLP).
Structural violence refers to 'social structures-economic, political, legal...that stop individuals, groups and societies from reaching their full potential. The idea of structural violence is linked very closely to social injustice and the social machiner of oppression' (Farmer et al, 2004, 2006a,b).
'MLPs integrate legal services as a vital component of the healthcare team. Through direct service, transforming institutions and influencing policy change, MLPs address the non-medical, social determinants of health that have legal remedies' (MLP website). As such, this approach may assist the target community to address the systemic issues that contribute to the poor health profile of children and families.
The research will provide the baseline data for an evidence-based approach for addressing structural violence and will inform the development of a strategy, a plan and a financial model.
Research Team: Anthony Boardman, UBC Christine Loock, UBC; Lorine Scott, BC Children's Hospital;, Ronald G. Friesen, Continueing Legal Educaiton Society of BC; John Simpson, Legal Services Society