Calgarians recognizing potentially dangerous domestic situations before violence
Family Violence Prevention Month helps people know where to turn
Each year the Calgary Domestic Violence Collective (CDVC) recognizes Family Violence Prevention Month in November, along with other communities across Alberta. This Provincial awareness month intends to shed light on this complex issue, open difficult conversations and encourage individuals in our community to learn more about ways they can help end it.
Recent statistics show that Calgarians are recognizing a potentially dangerous domestic situation and asking for help before violence occurs. Calgary Police Service has seen an increase in non-criminal calls in Calgary since last March. These non-criminal calls can include verbal altercations that escalated to the point that police were called or situations where one party asked police to be present during an interaction with an intimate partner or family member. This increase shows that members of the public are calling police and looking for community support before the situation escalates to violence. This is a good thing.
Calgary Police Service has not seen a significant increase in domestic violence related calls (i.e. calls that involved some form of actual or threatened physical violence) during COVID. Calgary Police Service responds to approximately 30,000 domestic conflict and domestic violence related calls each year. These numbers have remained within the normal range that Calgary Police Service has seen over the past five years, and each call is an opportunity to link a citizen with resources for their particular situation.
In times of stress and community crisis, it is common for instances of domestic violence to rise. Across Canada, and globally, there have been reports of increases in instances of domestic violence during the pandemic. In some cases, instances of reported domestic violence have increased 30 per cent during COVID.
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 and shadow. We encourage Calgarians to take time this month 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 Family Violence Helpline is available 24/7 at 403-234-SAFE (7233) and has prepared during the pandemic for an increase in the number of calls.
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 8AM and 8PM 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.
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Calgary Domestic Violence Collective (CDVC) is an ecosystem comprised of over 70 social service agencies, funders and government departments galvanized around a vision of ending domestic violence. As a collective, they create space for connection, innovation, learning and growth. Members work together to coordinate supports, public policy, and public education utilizing ‘collective impact’ as their model. Learn more at www.cdvc.ca.
CDVC will be hosting its sixth annual conference: Bridging Communities Through Resiliency and Leadership on Tuesday, November 16, 2021. The Bridging Communities Conference is a collaborative and multilayered virtual learning series with a focus on family violence prevention. This one-day conference is designed to bring people together to build connections, increase knowledge, and advance our mission of addressing domestic violence. This day helps us reach our commitment to provide educational opportunities, increase public awareness, and engage our community in a common end goal: preventing domestic and sexual violence in Calgary.