Working to stop family violence

October 28, 2015

Working to stop family violence

Family violence affects people of all ages, nationalities, gender and income levels. In Strathcona County, there were 714 individuals who reported domestic violence in 2014.

“Family violence is not a private matter. It affects us all,” says Mayor Roxanne Carr. “We, as a community, feel the pain and grief that surrounds this violence. However, more than ever, we stand together as a community to support each other while working in our neighbourhoods, municipality and across the province to stop family violence.”

"No one needs to stand alone in dealing with family violence," says Superintendent Gary Peck, Officer In Charge of the Strathcona County RCMP. “The RCMP is committed to stand side by side with our community partners in working together to bring attention and awareness to family violence within our community.”  Peck continues, “Our Domestic Violence Unit and Victim Services Teams are dedicated to assisting our victims and their families as we work towards eliminating family violence in our community."

This November, residents are invited to wear white ribbons to signify their commitment to help end family violence, as part of National Family Violence Prevention month. White ribbons are available to anyone who wants to make a pledge to take a stand to end violence against women. Ribbons are available at County facilities, free of charge, throughout November.

The White Ribbon campaign, established in 1991 by a small group of men in Canada, urges men to speak out against violence against women. In almost 60 countries, the White Ribbon Campaign is the largest effort in the world of men working to end violence against women and girls, promote gender equality, healthy relationships, and a new vision of masculinity.

In addition to participating in the White Ribbon Campaign, Strathcona County developed a local network of men in the community, known as Men as Allies, who recognize that everyone has a role to play in ending family violence. Through their spheres of influence, the Men as Allies raise awareness and educate men and women about their role in preventing domestic violence.

Also, the County’s Make it Our Business training program teaches local businesses, organizations and community groups how to recognize and respond to signs of family violence in the workplace. 

This September, Strathcona County was awarded a provincial grant to focus on primary prevention with boys by promoting healthy relationship awareness and skill building within a school setting, intervention for men with abusive behaviour, and community engagement to end domestic violence.

Efforts to address root causes of family violence will be supplemented by responses from the recently completed Alberta Men’s Survey, which canvassed men 18 years of age and older about strategies used to experience healthy and positive relationships. Responses will help staff develop programs and services that best address the unique needs, perspectives and strengths of men from diverse backgrounds in Strathcona County. 

Strathcona County continues to provide counselling and trauma support services to support those in need, including grants to partners such as A Safe Place and the Saffron Centre. 

Anyone who is in, or aware of an abusive situation, is encouraged to call the Safe Place 24-hour crisis line at 780-464-7233. Supports for anyone who is concerned, or supporting someone experiencing family violence, are available through Family and Community Services at 780-464-4044. 

For more information and supports, call 780-464-4044.

 

Set in the centre of Alberta’s energy and agricultural heartland, Strathcona County is a thriving, successful and vibrant community of more than 95,000 residents. Strathcona County is made up of the urban area of Sherwood Park and a large adjacent rural area of farms, acreages and smaller hamlets. It is home to 75 per cent of refining in Western Canada. With a focus on economic, governance, social, cultural and environmental sustainability, Strathcona County is committed to balancing the unique needs of its diverse community.

 

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Contact:

Strathcona County Communications, 780-410-6595