Reach out, speak out: pre­vent­ing fam­ily vi­o­lence

The McLeod River Post - - Family, Farm & Garden -

Novem­ber is Fam­ily Vi­o­lence Pre­ven­tion Month and this year the province’s theme is “Reach Out. Speak Out – It Takes All of Us.”

Us­ing that theme, the gov­ern­ment is work­ing to bring Al­ber­tans to­gether to raise aware­ness, sup­port sur­vivors and end fam­ily vi­o­lence.

“No one should live in fear for their safety or suf­fer in si­lence as a sur­vivor. Our gov­ern­ment and com­mu­nity part­ners are work­ing hard to raise aware­ness about what ev­ery­one can do to help those who are hurt­ing, and the sup­ports that are avail­able so vic­tims, both men and women, don’t have to suf­fer alone. That is how we will make life bet­ter for ev­ery­one in this province.”

Ir­fan Sabir, Min­is­ter of Com­mu­nity and So­cial Ser­vices

To launch Fam­ily Vi­o­lence Pre­ven­tion Month, Min­is­ter Sabir sat down with par­tic­i­pants of the Fa­thers Mov­ing For­ward pro­gram to talk about the ac­tive role men and boys can play in rais­ing aware­ness and pre­vent­ing fam­ily vi­o­lence.

“Fa­thers Mov­ing For­ward is one of Canada’s first re­search­based pro­grams for teen fa­thers. We pas­sion­ately be­lieve that fa­thers, no mat­ter what their age, are not op­tional. Their healthy in­volve­ment is es­sen­tial to the well-be­ing of chil­dren and to fam­ily vi­o­lence pre­ven­tion.”

Pa­tri­cia Jones, CEO, Catholic Fam­ily Ser­vice

Fa­thers Mov­ing For­ward is just one of the pro­grams the province is fund­ing to help en­gage men and boys about the is­sues sur­round­ing fam­ily vi­o­lence and the ways they can take ac­tion or get help.

Since 2015, the Al­berta gov­ern­ment has in­vested $14.1 mil­lion in 64 com­mu­nity pro­grams across the province to com­bat fam­ily vi­o­lence. Sup­ports in­clude nearly $8 mil­lion for 39 com­mu­nity pro­grams that fo­cus on fam­ily vi­o­lence, $3.5 mil­lion for 15 pro­grams about com­mu­nity-ca­pac­ity build­ing and $2.6 mil­lion to sup­port 10 projects re­lated to par­ent­ing and early child­hood de­vel­op­ment.

Quick facts

• Fam­ily Vi­o­lence Pre­ven­tion Month be­gan in 1986 as a com­mu­nity ini­tia­tive in Hin­ton.

• In one year (Septem­ber 2016 to Septem­ber 2017), the province pro­vided the fol­low­ing sup­ports:

o 1,303 Al­ber­tans were helped through the Fam­ily Vi­o­lence Info Line, toll-free at 3101818.

o 3,600 in­di­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies re­ceived emer­gency fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance through the Al­ber­tans Flee­ing Abuse Ben­e­fit.

o 269 Safer Spa­ces cer­tifi­cates were is­sued to help peo­ple leave their ten­ancy with­out fi­nan­cial penalty due to fam­ily vi­o­lence.

• In 2016-17, the province pro­vided $50 mil­lion to women’s shel­ters and outreach ser­vices for those in cri­sis from fam­ily vi­o­lence:

o 4,914 women and 3,808 chil­dren were ad­mit­ted to shel­ters and 20,605 women and 6,712 chil­dren were sup­ported through outreach ser­vices.

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