Family Violence Awareness Month

Pipestone Flyer

Leduc County Family Community and Support Services is reaching out to the next generation to stop family violence.

Leduc County council declared November to be Family Violence Awareness Month and the members of the Leduc Composite High School football team, along with dozens of other young men, pledged to end the cycle of violence by never committing, condoning or remaining silent about gender-based violence to support the White Ribbon Campaign.

“Family violence is a problem in our province and in our community. By having young men and boys take a stand, it sets the tone that violence is not okay in society,” said Ed Rifo, member of the Leduc and District Family Violence Prevention Team.

“As a team, we seek to prevent violence and foster healthy relationships in the community.”

White Ribbon is a non-profit organization which positively engages men, young men and boys through educational programming that challenges language and behaviours, as well as harmful ideas of manhood that lead to violence against women.

“By raising awareness about family violence with young men, we believe we are laying the foundation for healthy relationships that are equal and violence-free,” said Rifo. “With continued education and awareness, we are moving towards a community free from family violence.”

FCSS director Laurel Fitzsimonds agreed. “That’s where much of the key to it is,” she said. “In getting the younger generation to follow. Eventually we will get this ship to turn.” Fitzsimonds said, “Until recently, family violence prevention focused on telling women they needed to be responsible for it. That they needed to be the ones to take action. We know now that it’s not really effective and not the case,” she said.

Violence in the home can be perpetrated by both men and women, and children in that home are affected by the violence, whether they see it or not. “Children growing up in these homes believe that it’s okay.” Even if they don’t see it they feel the tension, they learn how power is exerted and grow up believing violence is the way to handle conflict. “If we reach young people and teach them this is not appropriate, we can break this cycle.”

According to Fitzsimonds, FCSS workers see the impact of family violence in all their programs, starting with the Early Childhood ones. “It shows up everywhere. It’s part of the community and it’s part of every community.”

In addition to encouraging men and boys to take the pledge, FCSS offers programs for men, women and children through the FVPT.

The men’s and women’s programs operate independently, providing education and support to each gender to help men and women understand the cycle of family violence and what role they play in stopping it.

Children are provided with one-on-one counseling and taught that violence is not an appropriate response. They are also taught that violence in the home is not their fault. “Kids have the idea that they have something to do with this,” said Fitzsimonds, “That if they were better behaved or if they do something this wouldn’t happen. They come up with erroneous ideas about why this is happening.”

Participants in the program have come away with positive feedback,” said Fitzsimonds. “They understand themselves better and how they got there. Everybody’s got a role to play in this.”

The FVPT encourages men and boys across the community to take the pledge by visiting www.whiteribbon.ca/pledge.

Pictured: Some of the young men who participated in signing a pledge of support for the White Ribbon Campaign. Photo submitted by Laurel Fitzsimonds from Leduc County FCSS

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer
Halloween spirit out in the City of Wetaskiwin

City of Wetaskiwin residents show off their Halloween decorations

(Photo Submitted by the Gord Bamford Foundation)
Lacombe’s Gord Bamford to perform a virtual concert for a good cause

The concert aims to raise awareness for Operation Santa Clause

Alberta Health Services' central zone jumped from 162 active COVID-19 cases to 178 on Friday. Five additional deaths were reported provincewide, bringing the toll to 323. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
622 new COVID-19 cases set another daily high Friday

Province confirmed 622 additional cases Friday

City of Wetaskiwin Mayor presenting the AUMA Above & Beyond Award to John Maude and Susan Quinn. Ren Goode/ City of Wetaskiwin.
Wetaskiwin County residents win the AUMA Above & Beyond Award

John Maude and Susan Quinn are being recognized for their role in Wetaskiwin’s sustainability.

Alberta children whose only symptom of COVID-19 is a runny nose or a sore throat will no longer require mandatory isolation, starting Monday.
477 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Alberta on Thursday

Changes being made to the COVID-19 symptom list for school-age children

Over the years, Janice Blackie-Goodine’s home in Summerland has featured elaborate Halloween displays and decorations each October. (File photo)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about Halloween?

Oct. 31 is a night of frights. How much do you know about Halloween customs and traditions?

A man runs across the Carcross Dunes in Carcross, Yukon, on July 2, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘No manual or checklist:’ Yukon ditching fall time change this year

The territory decided to adopt year-round daylight time in March

Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains makes an announcement regarding vaccine procurement, in Toronto, on Wednesday, Aug., 5, 2020. Despite its status as an artificial intelligence hub, Canada has yet to develop a regulatory regime to deal with issues of privacy, discrimination and accountability to which AI systems are prone, prompting calls for regulation from businesses and experts. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
Canada crawling toward AI regulatory regime, but experts say reform is urgent

5 million images of shoppers collected without consent at Canadian malls

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 1987 file photo, actor Sean Connery holds a rose in his hand as he talks about his new movie "The Name of the Rose" at a news conference in London. Scottish actor Sean Connery, considered by many to have been the best James Bond, has died aged 90, according to an announcement from his family. (AP Photo/Gerald Penny, File)
Actor Sean Connery, the ‘original’ James Bond, dies at 90

He died peacefully in his sleep overnight in the Bahamas

(Photo submitted)
Rimbey resident avid author despite Parkinson’s

Wins more accolades for her writing

(Photo Submitted by the Gord Bamford Foundation)
Lacombe’s Gord Bamford to perform a virtual concert for a good cause

The concert aims to raise awareness for Operation Santa Clause

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

(Pixabay photo)
Spoooky, scaaaary: The ultimate Halloween-in-quarantine playlist

All the costumes, trick-or-treating and spooky-season fun is essentialy off the table due to COVID-19

Pilots Ilona Carter and Jim Gray of iRecover Treatment Centres, in front of his company’s aircraft, based at Ponoka’s airport. (Perry Wilson/Submitted)
95-year-old Ilona Carter flies again

Takes to the skies over Ponoka

Most Read