Positive Signs at Start of Family Violence Prevention Month
Domestic conflict numbers have improved slightly, but Calgary is still facing a big problem
November is Family Violence Prevention Month and this year is the first time since the economic downturn that the Calgary Police Service has seen a drop in the number of domestic violence incidents in our city.
New statistics released by the Calgary Police Service today show that officers have responded to seven per cent fewer domestic conflict calls in the first three quarters of 2019, compared to the same time last year. Domestic calls where physical violence occurred or was threatened are down 11 per cent compared to this time last year.
While the new numbers are a positive sign, police and social agencies are still dealing with significantly more domestic violence than in the past. Overall, 2019 is still on track to have 17 per cent more domestic violence calls than the five-year average. Alberta also continues to have the third highest rate of domestic violence in Canada.
Domestic violence is a complex problem that can only be addressed when everyone in the community works together to stop it. Family Violence Prevention Month is a time for Calgarians to learn about the work being done to end domestic violence and find ways they can help.
The Calgary Domestic Violence Collective (CDVC) is marking Family Violence Prevention Month with three events to help facilitate this conversation.
To launch the month, an agency fair is being held at the Municipal Building, located at 800 Macleod Trail S.E., between 10 a.m., and 2 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019. Members of the public can come and meet the various government and non-profit agencies that support those affected by domestic violence in Calgary.
Calgarians are also being encouraged to ‘Pin Your Purple’ at the Friday, Nov. 8, Calgary Hitman game. Five dollars from any tickets purchased using the promo code ‘PYP’ will be donated to the CDVC.
Finally, CDVC is hosting the fourth annual Bridging Communities Conference on Tuesday, Nov. 19, to help develop professionals working with families who are experiencing domestic violence.
Calgarians are encouraged to also take time this month to:
- 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.
- Learn how you can support anyone you know who is in an abusive or violent relationship.
Domestic violence has been a growing issue the last five years in Calgary. Police responded to 21,535 domestic conflict calls in 2018 alone. The vast majority – approximately 14,768 (69 per cent) – of these calls are verbal altercations that escalated to the point that police were called, or situations where one party has asked police to be present while they moved out of their home due to domestic conflict.
Approximately 5,388 (25 per cent) of domestic conflict calls were classified as domestic violence because they involved some form of actual or threatened physical violence, and approximately 735 (3 per cent) involved the damage or theft of property as part of a domestic conflict.
Calgarians experiencing abuse or violence in an intimate or family relationship are always encouraged to reach out for help as these harmful behaviours often become worse over time. There are countless agencies ready to offer support that can be contacted simply by calling 211, or the Connect Family & Sexual Abuse Network at either 1-877-237-5888 (for sexual abuse) or 403-234-7233 (for domestic abuse).
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.