November is Family Violence Prevention Month in Alberta.
It is not a month for celebration: Family Violence Prevention Month is supposed to mark a special time for us to think about what we can do to stop and prevent an issue of pandemic proportions.
Our province has the third highest rate of self-reported spousal violence among Canadian provinces. Again, not much to celebrate: this is the kind of claim that does not make any of us proud.
The COVID-19 pandemic’s public health measures fell heavily on an already dire situation. UN Women stated that COVID-19 created “conditions for abuse that are ideal for abusers because it forced people into lockdown” thus causing a “shadow pandemic” that exacerbated preexisting issues with domestic violence globally.
Family violence is prevalent in every community and affects all people regardless of age, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion or nationality.
During Family Violence Prevention Month, we wish to reaffirm our commitment to ending family violence and supporting those who have been impacted by it. We reaffirm our intent to work toward creating a culture that refuses to tolerate abuse, in all its form and in any place.
We also want to invite you to join us and speak out against family violence, starting now. Speak out against family violence: normalize a conversation that many find uncomfortable and reduce the stigma of family violence. Be a positive role model, for your family, friends, colleagues. Model and promote safe bonds between parents and children, respectful relationships, and offer time and resources to organizations dedicated to the prevention of family violence and the support of those impacted by it.
Did you know that the government of Alberta provides a toll-free Family Violence Info Line? Call 310-1818 to get help 24/7 in over 170 languages.