The facts are simple and concerning. Today Alberta has one of the highest rates of domestic violence in the entire country.
“We respond to approximately 20,000 calls a year related to domestic conflict,” says Staff Sergeant Glenn Andruschuk of the Calgary Police Service Domestic Conflict Unit. “Our statistics and reporting continue to show that citizens are calling police and looking for community support before the situation escalates to violence. This allows us to connect them with a variety of resources that they may not know about and help navigate difficult conversations.”
Domestic violence is a complex problem that can only be addressed when everyone in the community works together to end it. Abuse thrives in silence. We encourage Calgarians to take time to:
Learn how you can reach out and support someone you know, or suspect might be in an abusive or violent relationship.
Be an open and accepting friend if someone discloses their experience with abuse – saying “I believe you” goes a long way.
Talk to your children about what kinds of behaviours are healthy in a relationship and which ones are not.
Donate to organizations that work to support families affected by domestic and sexual violence.
Volunteer with organizations that work to support families affected by domestic and sexual violence.
Calgarians experiencing abuse or violence in an intimate or family relationship are always encouraged to reach out for help. There are countless agencies ready to offer support that can be contacted simply by calling 211. The Domestic Violence and Abuse Helpline is available 24/7 at 403-234-SAFE (7233).
We also encourage you to call the Family Violence Info Line at 310-1818 which is available 24/7 and in more than 170 languages from anywhere in Alberta. If phone calls are not available to you, we encourage you to use the Alberta Safety Chat Line, by clicking HERE. This chat line is available between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. MST in English.
Victims of domestic violence can also contact the Calgary Police Service anytime by calling the non-emergency line at 403-266-1234, or 9-1-1 if you are in immediate danger.
Family Violence Prevention Month started in 1986 as a local initiative in the town of Hinton where four remarkable Albertans, Katherine Kennedy, Sonja Bennett, Faye Wheeler and Glenda Carter, formed The Hinton Society for the Prevention of Family Violence and launched Alberta’s very first family violence education and prevention campaign.
The Society’s goals were to draw public attention to the issue and to evoke positive change in their community. This led to expanding local supports and services for individuals and families in the areas of prevention, protection and rehabilitation. At a time when family violence was never talked about publicly, these courageous women inspired the Alberta Legislature to proclaim every November, Family Violence Prevention Month in Alberta. Today their legacy continues. Hundreds of Alberta communities and thousands of individuals are actively involved in preventing family violence by providing public education and services.
CFN is proud to be a part of the Calgary Domestic Violence Collective, a group of close to 60 community partners that provides a coordinated response to domestic and sexual violence prevention and intervention. As a part of CFN's Vulnerable Population Services, our in-house crisis counsellor provides 1-on-1 counselling non-therapeutic counselling, crisis intervention as necessary and needs assessment to identify individual, social, emotional, and behavioural aspects of the client. We help to identify situations and explore options, as well as develop and implement a plan of action. Our practitioner provides information and referrals to internal agency programs/resources and external agencies along with ethnocultural communities’ programs/resources. We connect clients to resources which can assist in meeting their needs and all services are delivered in a private, safe, confidential, and respectful environment. All have the right to confidentiality, excluding specific circumstances, such as harm to oneself or harm to others.
CFN is committed to ending domestic violence through collaborative, coordinated intervention and prevention strategies and strongly believes that increasing public awareness, providing education and working to improve legislation can assist in the fight against domestic violence.
For more information on CFN Vulnerable Population Services call 403.537.8806 or visit www.centrefornewcomers.ca/vulnerable