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Domestic abuse shelters in Alberta report 10-year high in number of calls for help


The Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters says domestic violence is on the rise in the province.

A report, which is titled On the Front Lines, compiled data from April 2022 to the end of March 2023 for 39 organizations operating 53 domestic abuse shelters across Alberta.

It shows there were more than 59,000 calls for help answered by the shelters, which is a 10-year high.

The data also shows a 10-year high in reports of forced sex and strangulation, which the council says increases the risk of being killed by 750 per cent.

It says about 8,400 people, an increase of 19 per cent, received help at shelters and almost half of those people were children.

Shelters could not, however, accommodate another 30,000 requests for admission, which is the highest number in the past decade, due to the lack of shelter space and growing complex needs of some survivors.

“Shelters across this province are working overtime to respond to the increasing number of survivors of domestic violence and their needs,” Jan Reimer, executive director of the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters, said in a statement.

“Unfortunately, women’s shelters have faced stagnant budgets since 2015 alongside ballooning inflation. Without additional resources, we are concerned for survivors in this province.”