Family Violence Prevention Month is an annual observance dedicated to raising awareness about and preventing family violence. While the specific date and activities can vary by region, it typically involves a range of initiatives, campaigns, and events aimed at educating the public, supporting victims, and promoting healthy family dynamics.
Alberta has the third highest rate of self-reported spousal violence among Canadian provinces, yet family violence is preventable. November is Family Violence Prevention Month (FVPM) in Alberta. It is a time to increase awareness of the warning signs of family violence and the resources and supports available so we can work together to end family violence and build healthier relationships in our communities.
The key aspects of Family Violence Prevention Month usually include:
Awareness Campaigns: Organizations and governments run campaigns to educate the public about the signs of family violence, its impact on individuals and communities, and ways to seek help or support others.
Community Engagement: Events such as workshops, seminars, and information sessions are organized to engage community members, provide resources, and encourage conversations about preventing family violence.
Support for Victims: This month often emphasizes the availability of support services for victims of family violence, including hotlines, counselling, and shelters.
Advocacy and Policy Initiatives: Advocates may use this time to push for policy changes or increased funding for family violence prevention programs.
Collaboration with Law Enforcement and Legal Entities: Efforts are made to ensure that law enforcement and legal systems are equipped to effectively respond to and address family violence.
Schools and Educational Programs: Schools may participate by providing educational programs to students about healthy relationships and the importance of respect and consent.
Social Media Campaigns: Social media is often used as a tool to spread awareness, share stories, and provide information about resources.
Symbolic Gestures: Some campaigns might include symbolic gestures, like wearing a specific color ribbon, to show solidarity with victims of family violence.
Fundraising Events: Charities and organizations may organize fundraising events to support family violence prevention programs and services.
Research and Reporting: It’s also a time when new research findings on family violence might be released, helping to inform future prevention strategies.
Family Violence Prevention Month serves as a reminder that family violence is a critical issue that affects all segments of society and that prevention requires the collective effort of individuals, communities, organizations, and governments.
This November, join us in recognizing Family Violence Prevention Month and learn how you can help family, friends and neighbours experiencing family violence. Learn what resources are available in your community:
- the Family Violence Info Line (310-1818) is available toll-free to Albertans 24/7 in over 170 languages
- the Family Violence Info Line chat is available 24/7 daily in English
- Emergency shelters throughout the province provide safe locations to stay for people fleeing violent or abusive situations.
Here are some practical ways to support victims of family violence.
Family and friends
It is important to be supportive if someone tells you they are experiencing family violence or domestic violence or if you suspect they are. Family and friends can help them by:
- calling 911 if there is an immediate threat
- learning more about family violence or domestic violence to know the warning signs
- asking in a caring way if someone is hurting them
- believing them when they tell you what is happening
- making sure they know the abuse is not their fault and they do not deserve it
- call, text (standard messaging rates apply) or chat with the Family Violence Info Line at 310-1818
- helping them find other community supports
- keeping everything they tell you private
- offering any support you can to help keep them, their children and their pets safe, such as a place to stay, transportation, food or other daily needs
Learn more about what healthcare providers, employers and cultural and faith communities can do to support here.