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

Just Posted

file photo
UPDATE: Leduc RCMP, Millet Fire Department and more on scene at serious multi-vehicle collision

Traffic is expected to be diverted for several hours and alternative travel routes are recommended.

File photo
Leduc RCMP request assistance to identify armed robbery suspect

Leduc RCMP are searching for suspect involved in an armed robbery at the Leduc Giant Tiger.

Alberta is now below 3,000 active cases of COVID-19, as the province reported 2,639 Wednesday. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer below 100 active COVID-19 cases for first time since March

69.7 per cent of Albertans 12 and over have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine

Premier Jason Kenney says the provincial government is doing everything it can to encourage Albertans to get vaccinated. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Travel prizes added to Alberta’s vaccine lottery

More than 40 travel rewards available for those who are fully vaccinated

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., center left, reaches over to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they celebrate the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act that creates a new federal holiday to commemorate June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people after the Civil War, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 17, 2021. It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden to sign bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

New American stat marks the nation’s end of slavery

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Green party Leader Annamie Paul speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Paul has survived another day of party strife after a planned ouster shifted course, leaving her with a tenuous grip on power ahead of a likely federal election this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul blasts ‘racist,’ ‘sexist’ party execs who sought ouster

Fallout has continued, with two of the federal council’s members resigning

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and U.S President Joe Biden shake hands during their meeting at the ‘Villa la Grange’ in Geneva, Switzerland in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)
Biden says meeting with Putin not a ‘kumbaya moment’

But U.S. president asserted Russian leader is interested in improved relations, averting a Cold War

Most Read