skip to content


Harriet MacMillan is a psychiatrist and pediatrician conducting family violence research.  She is a member of the Offord Centre for Child Studies, and Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, and Pediatrics at McMaster University with associate memberships in the Departments of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and Psychology. Harriet holds the Chedoke Health Chair in Child Psychiatry.  Beginning in 1993 until 2004, Harriet was the founding Director of the Child Advocacy and Assessment Program (CAAP) at McMaster Children's Hospital, a multidisciplinary program committed to reducing the burden of suffering associated with family violence.   She continues to see patients as an active staff member of CAAP and provides consultations to child protection agencies.  Her research focuses on the epidemiology of violence against children and women; she has led randomized controlled trials evaluating the effectiveness of approaches to preventing child maltreatment and intimate partner violence.  Funding for this work has been provided by organizations such as the WT Grant Foundation, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation (previously NARSAD) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Harriet is the principal investigator of a CIHR-funded Centre for Research Development in Gender, Mental Health and Violence across the Lifespan (PreVAiL:  PreVAiL is an international Network made up of researchers in the areas of mental health, gender and violence, and of partner organizations with service, research and policy mandates in these areas.  Through PreVAiL, Harriet works closely with organizations such as the Public Health Agency of Canada and the World Health Organization.



Primary Prevention of Intimate Partner Violence: Current Evidence and Future Prospects

Intimate partner violence (or domestic violence as it is often referred to) is a major public health problem associated with significant morbidity and mortality, particularly among women. Most of the interventions aimed at preventing and responding to intimate partner violence (IPV), not surprisingly, address violence by men against women.  This session will provide an overview of what is known about primary prevention of IPV - reducing the incidence and prevalence of initial exposure - through programs and policies.    Prevention of IPV typically focuses on adult women, but the importance of considering children's exposure to IPV will be discussed.  Gaps will be identified and a framework will be presented that outlines the need to consider the overlap between other types of child maltreatment and IPV, as well as approaches that can reduce causal risk factors.



Latest news

Join the VRC on social media!

Would you like to stay updated about the Violence Research Centre's research, events, news in the field of global violence reduction and opportunities to work with us? "Like" us on Facebook. If you have missed some of our events, please visit our YouTube Channel. You can also find us on LinkedIn and Twitter