The #UNIGNORABLE issue of domestic violence

WARNING: This page contains subject matter and content that may be emotionally difficult, including details of domestic violence and abuse. If you are concerned for your well-being, please call 211 to be connected with supports and services in your area.

Domestic violence looks different for everyone, and it can take many different forms. That’s why it’s key to be able to pick up on the signs that something has changed in someone you care about. Maybe it’s that they’re suddenly cancelling plans at the last minute, cutting off contact from family and friends, or wearing sunglasses inside. Something just feels…off. And you’re not sure what to do, or how to help. But one thing’s for sure: if you’re concerned about someone, the way you approach it makes a big difference.

Laurie, a domestic violence survivor in Calgary, knows the pain of being in an abusive relationship all too well. Get her advice on how to support someone you think might be experiencing domestic violence, including how to have that first, all-important conversation.


Want to learn more about how to support someone impacted by domestic violence?

Take a look at the resources below for practical ways to get started.


Visit the REAL Talk website, developed by Sagesse, for a comprehensive toolkit to help understand and talk openly about domestic violence. You can also inquire about the Stand By workshop.

Get a summary:

Download a condensed, print-ready guide on how to use REAL Talk to support someone who may be in an abusive situation.

Take a stand:

Learn about an initiative by the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter that helps educate and empower people to support family violence victims.

Our community should be a safe place for everyone to live, work, play, and raise their families. That’s why we work to end violence before it happens, alleviating the need for additional intervention services. United Way’s domestic violence prevention strategy focuses on promoting healthy relationships, sparking community-building initiatives, ensuring vulnerable individuals have access to supports and services, and helping people address domestic violence in their communities.

Get immersed: more stories

Laurie shares her story: why women don’t “just leave”

Laurie is a bright, happy individual today, but she is also a survivor of intimate partner abuse as a teenager.

The impact of domestic violence on children

Family violence and abuse hurts everyone, from those experiencing it to those committing it.

Calgary’s Shift project creating big-picture change in Canada and abroad

Alberta has the third highest rate of police-reported intimate partner violence in Canada.

Do you believe everyone should live a life free of violence and abuse? Donate now to help end domestic violence, once and for all.

Do you need help?

If you, or someone you know, is impacted by domestic violence, please contact the 24-hour family violence help line: 403-234-SAFE (7233) or toll-free 1-866-606-7233.

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