Family violence occurs throughout the entire year and throughout all of Alberta. The month of November has been designated in Alberta as Family Violence Prevention Month to acknowledge the devastating impact family violence has in our community. It is also a time to acknowledge the successes achieved by organizations such as Victim Services and the Family Resource Centre with combating this significant social harm.
Mayor Bill Elliot added his praise and signed a proclamation designating November in Wetaskiwin as Family Violence Awareness & Prevention month. Attentive observers included RCMP liaison with Victim Services, Sgt. Guy Perreault, Petra Pfeiffer, Executive Director, Victim’s Services and Vickie Roy, Coordinator of the Family Resource Centre,
Family Violence Prevention Month started in 1986 as a local initiative in the town of Hinton, Alberta where concerned residents launched a family violence education and prevention campaign. This grassroots effort inspired the Alberta Legislature to support family violence prevention as an ongoing provincial initiative, resulting in the creation of Family Violence Prevention Month. Today, hundreds of Alberta communities and thousands of individuals are actively involved in preventing family violence by providing public education and services.
Victim’s Services in Wetaskiwin has taken a leadership role in combatting family violence by establishing the Family Violence Outreach Team (the Strategic Partners). Petra Pfeiffer, Executive Director, Victim’s Services, describes the role of the, ‘Team’ is to “assess the risk to families and children, including the offender. The intent being to reduce further harm. They intervene promptly to reduce the risk of harm and increase safety, facilitate referral to treatment programs, connect victims and families to support services, integrate resources for high risk clients, encourage individuals to more fully participate in finding ways to resolve conflict and build healthier relationships, work with front line police officers and Child and Family Services investigators, help develop safety plans, and help victims and family members to get the immediate resources they need.
The ‘Team’ also offers an education component to victims and their families, and to other organizations such as schools. This unique and promising program is funded through the SCIF grant and will move Wetaskiwin forward in the fight against family violence in a very positive way,”
“Not every suitcase is packed for vacation”. Some have to flee a family violence relationship and hide.