About The Institute

The Peel Institute of Research and Training (formerly the Peel Institute on Violence Prevention) is the research arm of Family Services of Peel was established as a collaborative initiative focusing on the prevention of all forms of violence in Peel. Grounded in an anti-oppression, anti-racism framework, the Institute operates from a data-driven, evidence-informed, impact evaluation model. It includes the combined perspectives of the diverse population of Peel, clients, survivors, service providers, community agencies, and academia.

Our research approach is scientific investigation, community involvement and participatory engagement.

Our research process is guided by critical thinking. This includes actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information to reach an answer or conclusion. It is clear, rational, open-minded, and informed by evidence. It incorporates qualities, concepts, and processes such as creativity, imagination, discovery, reflection, empathy, connecting knowledge, subjectivity, ambiguity, and inclusion.

Our research work focuses on survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, elder abuse, youth violence, and human trafficking for the following at-risk groups: youth, seniors, women, the Aboriginal population, people with disabilities, and male victims of sexual assault/abuse. The work of the Institute will enable the reorganization of services and programs to be more focused on survivors’ needs.

A Map of the Resources available for Survivors of Interpersonal Violence in Peel Region

(a map developed by Tanya Kenesky in partnership with Family Services of Peel)

* Information, resources, and publications on this website are the property of Family Services of Peel. Any items used from this website must include a reference to Family Services of Peel.

Are you Are you looking to get involved in ground-breaking research and training that the institute is spearheading?
Please follow the steps below:
  1. Category A: Student Practicum - If you are looking to complete Student Practicum hours submit a letter of interest with an updated resume to [email protected]
  2. Category B: Volunteer - If you are interested in volunteering as a researcher or writer with the Institute, please submit your letter of interest specifying the area of expertise and an updated resume to [email protected]
The Peel Institute of Research and Training is funded by:
Governance Committee
Scientific Committee
The Governance Committee provides strategic directions and strategies on achieving the mandates of the institute. The committee is made up of a combination of leaders from academia, policy makers, police, service providers, survivors of violence, and community organizations from the public and private sectors.
The committee members are:
  • Sandra Rupnarain - Executive Director, Family Services of Peel
  • Monica Riutort- Director, Peel Institute of Research and Training, Family Services of Peel
  • Atiya Ahsan - President, Zonta e-club of Canada 1
  • Dr. Firdosi Mehta - Adjunct Professor of Public Health, University of Toronto
  • Dr. Joan Simalchik -Director of Gender Studies Dept., University of Toronto Mississauga
The Scientific Committee provides advice, guidance, and support on research, scientific and clinical matters related to violence and violence prevention. Members are selected through professional and scientific societies, academia, health, education, government, non-governmental, and public sectors.
The committee members are:
  • Monica Riutort
  • Sandra Rupnarain
  • Susan Silver, BA, MSW, PhD
  • Trisha Wilson
  • Dr. Joan Simalchik
Knowledge Transfer
The term Knowledge Transfer (KT) is about sharing information, disseminating knowledge and providing inputs for problem solving growth and development. From an organizational theory, KT helps transfer knowledge within the organization between individuals and teams. For the Institute, KT is crucial to its purpose, which is to distribute researched evidenced based knowledge and ensure its availability for future users. The Institute organizes, creates, captures and shares its research and data at community, national and international levels through trainings, symposiums and conferences. KT is the vehicle through which empowerment and change can occur.
Knowledge Transfer
Research and Training
Peel Family Pathways
Peel Anti-Black
Racism Project
Peel Seniors
Family Services of Peel was successful in a very competitive proposal process and was awarded 3 year funding to address Human Trafficking. The focus of this project is to increase the capacity of service providers in Peel Region to be able to effectively support women survivors of trafficking and their families on their journey to recovery and healing.
The Human Trafficking Advisory Committee provides advice, guidance, support, and recommendations with regards to the project, addressing Human Trafficking in Peel.
The committee members are:
  • Sandra Rupnarain
  • Monica Riutort
  • Angela Carter
  • Alma Arguello
  • Dr. Firdosi Mehta
  • Dr. Hanni Stoklosa
  • Dr. Susan Bartels
  • Katarina MacLeod
  • Nikki Clarke
  • Svjetlana Delic
The Family Services of Peel, including the Peel Institute of Research and Training, in partnership with Institute for Management & Innovation at the University of Toronto is developing an evidence-based Family Needs Framework through their study that focuses on fully understanding the needs of government-assisted refugees and immigrants.
By doing this, the framework hopes to establish better services for Peel government assisted refugees and immigrants. Upon completed research, the Family Needs Framework should inform settlement practices, impact immigrant and refugee services, and further develop the existing literature on newcomer integration.
The Peel Family Pathways Project Advisory Committee provides advice, guidance, support, and recommendations with regards to the project.
The committee members are:
  • Ali Salha
  • Berna Bolanos
  • Marta Orellana
  • Najma Iqbal
  • Zari Gill
  • Sandra Rupnarain
Of the many ventures championed by the Anti-Black Racism Committee of Family Services of Peel, the most significant was the submission of a proposal entitled, “Peel Community Anti- Black Racism Social Action Response” to the Digital Citizen Contribution Program to examine the behavioral and psychological underpinnings of the spread of disinformation and other harmful content in Canada as it relates to Black youth.
The purpose of the project is to document the existing expertise of individuals and community organizations regarding misinformation as it relates to racism in the media, particularly on social media, and to encourage and identify innovative responses to build awareness and change attitudes.
As a part of our work, we will develop a Knowledge Translation Plan to disseminate knowledge accumulated from this project. This project will result in outcomes that will assist organizations working with the target population to ensure that critical needs are met, evidence-based services and programs are developed, evidence-based policies are implemented, and a research agenda is considered.
Family Services of Peel (FSP) and Peel Elder Abuse Prevention Network (PEAPN), were awarded a 2022 Change Fund grant from the Region of Peel to address the issue of the increased abuse of older adults in the Region of Peel. The goal is to strengthen political (federal, provincial, regional, and municipal) and community ties, and “step in” to address issues impacting the well-being of seniors in the Region.
Peel Region’s senior population is increasing at three times the rate of the rest of Ontario and Canada. Our initiative aligns to the Regional Priority of Elder Abuse, a social issue that has been defined by the United Nations (2020) as a “single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person”.
The objectives of the Project are to:
Update, collect, analyze, and summarize existing evidence of the needs of seniors in the Region of Peel, by applying quantitative and qualitative methods.
To strengthen advocacy by building and expanding the network of organizations and volunteers, and to search for solutions of the documented needs of seniors in the Region.
We encourage you to become involved in this Project by becoming a member of the Peel Elder Abuse Prevention Network or the Seniors Project Advisory Committee.

Just Walk-In
No appointments, free, immediate, private, and confidential Walk-In Counselling is available every Wednesday and Saturday. Meet with our professional and qualified multicultural staff for support, advocacy, and referrals to other available services.
For more information, please call our Intake Department at 905-453-5775 or send an email to [email protected] or visit our website