Family Violence: It's preventable

·3 min read

With the third highest rate of self-reported spousal violence among Canadian provinces, Alberta is marking Family Violence Prevention Month (FVPM). Local resources like IMPACT Grande Prairie stress that family violence is preventable.

FVPM is a time to increase awareness of the warning signs of family violence and the resources and supports available so communities can work together to build healthier relationships in our communities.

IMPACT Grande Prairie (formerly known as Prevention of Family Violence Network) has set November aside to educate the public on domestic and sexual violence, and the available supports for victims in Grande Prairie and area.

IMPACT, a coalition of organizations committed to eradicating family violence in northwestern Alberta, provides supports and services to victims of domestic and sexual abuse.

Save the date:

GP Storm Game on Nov. 12: Attend the game and purchase 50/50 tickets to support eradicating domestic and sexual violence in our community; game time 7 p.m.

#GoPurpleGP Social Media Event on Nov. 23: Wear purple, share your photos/selfies to social media and include #GoPurpleGP. Your post will enter you to win a $25 gift card to Tim Hortons.

Walk with IMPACT Online Contest: Learn more about family violence. Scan the QR code (see page 9), complete the questions and be entered to win box seats to the Dec. 17 Oil King game and one of three $100 Downtown Association gift cards to use at a downtown business of your choosing. Draw will be made Nov. 30.

Town & Country News will feature a series of stories and information throughout November, thanks to the support of the County of Grande Prairie Family and Community Support Services (FCSS).

Help is available:

When home is no longer safe, these resources that could help:

- Family Violence Info Line (310-1818) is available toll-free 24/7 in over 170 languages

- Family Violence Info Line chat is available 24/7 daily in English

- Emergency shelters like Odyssey House provide safe locations to stay for people fleeing violent or abusive situations.

Escaping abuse benefit

You can apply for this benefit if you:

- are living in an abusive family situation or you have already left

- do not have enough money to leave an abusive family situation or start over

- you do not qualify for other ongoing Alberta benefits

- are at least 18 years old

- live in Alberta and are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, refugee or refugee claimant

What you get

You may get help with expenses and other supports to get to safety and/or start a new life. This could include emergency transportation to a safe place (for example, women’s shelter), costs to stay in a hotel for a short time if shelters are full and an allowance to buy personal items not provided by the shelter. In addition, emergency items not available through shelters such as prescription drugs, child care, dental and eye care services as well as one-time costs to move if you must leave your community to escape a threat of family violence or domestic violence may also be available.

How to apply

Call Alberta Supports to apply:

Weekdays

Hours: 7:30 am to 8 pm Toll free: 1-877-644-9992 (in Alberta, up to 150 languages)

Weekends, holidays and after hours

Toll free: 1-866-644-5135 (in Alberta)

Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News

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