November is Family Violence Prevention Month - 2020
As we think about 2020, it's been quite a year for the world. Under the cast of a global pandemic, our social ills got a little louder, took more prominence, became more pronounced. The domestic violence figures were no different. This year, our call volumes have quadrupled and our caseloads have increased considerably.
But it's not all doom and gloom. Many people dealing with domestic violence don't always seek help or seek support. They just cope. They may leave one abusive relationship but end up in another. They may not consider it bad enough to leave. They may normalize the abuse. In times like these, more people reach out which sometimes makes us think domestic violence is on the rise. It's not really. Certainly incidents are escalating and more people are coming forward. To us, that's bringing the problem into the light. And when you shine a light on something, you can deal with it...and that's a positive, even in the midst of all the awful.
It's not easy to ask for help and we're always mindful of what it took for someone to make that call - whether a person has been victimized by abuse or is perpetrating the abuse. Dealing with trauma is hard. At SAIF, everyone is treated with acceptance - there is no shame, judgement, or a requirement to make decisions you're not ready to make.
This month, as we focus on Family Violence Prevention and Awareness, we're so grateful to St Albert's Mayor, Cathy Heron, taking the time to make the formal proclamation on Monday. She was joined by Councillor Jacquie Hansen and Ken MacKay, our ED, Areni Kelleppan and our Board VP, Charlene Zoltenko, in a teeny Covid-19 friendly ceremony at SAIF.
There are many things going on this month to raise awareness and consider the issues of family violence. Notably, there is no Red Shoe Gala this year. That is an approximately $30,000 hit to SAIF's revenues, revenues that support our free counselling services. We're asking for the community to dig deep and consider helping us make up this shortfall.
In the meantime, there are a few things to call your attention to:
Everyday this month, our social media will be spotlighting the stats for Canada, Alberta, and our local communities, on the issues related to family violence;
We're selling purple masks all this month (while quantities last) for just $10/each as a small fundraiser. If you live in St Albert, our ED will even deliver your order to you!
Bullying Awareness Week is Nov 16-20 and we'll be spotlighting on our social media, practical strategies to deal with abuse starting with a blog about abuse while gaming;
We'll be a part of the Road to Resilience Virtual Panel on Nov 24th @ 5:30 pm. To register and learn more: https://forms.gle/vzwKToVxQW155yZS6;
GoPurpleDay is Nov 27th. We encourage everyone to wear purple in solidarity to help raise awareness and social media your best purple selfies with the tag #GoPurpleT8N;
Learn more about what's available, #WhereToTurn, and other events going on this month: https://www.alberta.ca/violence-abuse-and-bullying-prevention-events.aspx.