During the month of November, you may see people wearing a purple ribbon. November is Family Violence Prevention Month (FVPM) in Alberta. This month, we are all encouraged to be especially mindful in taking a closer look at the impact of family violence on our communities and creating awareness. People are encouraged to wear purple ribbons, to reach out, and speak out against family violence.
Unfortunately, family violence is prevalent across Alberta. Reported incidents spiked during the pandemic, when vulnerable individuals were more isolated, and shelters were facing staffing shortages. The Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters has reported on the latest alarming statistics:
At WJS/Spirit of Our Youth, we work with children, families and individuals impacted by family violence and intimate partner abuse. Within the root system of WJS Canada’s Service Delivery Model is trauma-informed care. We have many programs with trained and caring staff to assist individuals and families. For confidential counselling, support, and information, WJS staff can access an employee and family assistance program at Homewood Health.
WJS/SOOY recognizes all the good work being done by staff to support individuals and families who may be impacted by family violence. Staff are learning more about the signs that someone is experiencing intimate partner abuse or that a child is being exposed to fighting in their home. They are allies, walking alongside program participants when they need support or encouragement.
Staff work collaboratively with families, colleagues, and partners to create safety plans and coordinate community support. They engage in prevention and awareness activities and assist in building caregiver capacity by helping parents learn more about the negative impacts of family violence on children; healthy relationships; coping strategies for managing stress; positive discipline and developmental parenting.
Spirit of Our Youth staff are empathetic and non-judgmental in their support of youth who may have witnessed family violence and have been abused. WJS Canada/SOOY staff work hard every day to help strengthen families, create safe spaces, and build more resilient communities.
Please check out the links below for more information about family violence, initiatives, and where to get help:
INFORMATION & RESOURCES
DIVERSE VOICES: Edmonton’s response to Family Violence Prevention Month