Albertans are encouraged to address domestic abuse in their communities during Family Violence Prevention Month in November.
According to Angela Wright, executive director for the Airdrie and District Victims Assistance Society (ADVAS), raising awareness about the issue is important so people know where to go for help.
“I think it’s important so the general population out there knows that there is help available (and) if someone is experiencing this that they don’t have to go through that alone,” Wright said. “And knowing what the different resources are that can help them through that journey.”
ADVAS is operated out of the Airdrie RCMP detachment and Wright said officers refer victims of domestic abuse to the non-profit organization. ADVAS officials then determine what those people need and connect them with appropriate resources.
She said if they are in need of counselling services they are referred to North Rocky View Community Links and if they need financial aid they are referred to Alberta Works.
“If the matter that they’re dealing with is criminal in nature where there are charges then we will support them through the court process as well,” Wright said.
ADVAS is hosting a Let’s End Family Violence Seminar at the Airdrie Town and Country Centre from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Nov. 15.
The seminar is free of charge and will include a light breakfast, snacks and lunch, as well as a speech by Lynn Fairweather from Presage Consulting and Training.
Other non-profit organizations that work with victims of domestic abuse will have booths set up at the seminar showcasing their services.
“We’re hoping for a big turnout to come out and enjoy that day and just to bring awareness to the topic,” Wright said.
She added from Jan. 1 to Oct. 31 this year, ADVAS has dealt with more than 1,000 files, which include criminal harassment, domestic assault and domestic disputes.
Those statistics have increased from 700 files this time last year, she said.
“Some of the feedback that is shared with us is a lot of financial strain right now, which adds tension to any relationship, so economy has a lot to do with that for sure with the downturn,” Wright said.
For more information, visit airdrievictimassistance.com