Domestic violence

The #UNIGNORABLE issue

A healthy community with meaningful individual and community participation is a safe place for everyone to live, work, play, and raise their families. But domestic violence is rising year-over-year in Calgary, disrupting our communities and creating long-term repercussions for victims and families. Domestic violence negatively impacts people’s physical and mental well-being and can even push families toward poverty.

When young children are exposed to the traumatic events of domestic violence, it affects their brain development and negatively impacts their ability to learn. They are also much more likely to become abusers themselves or believe that threats and violence are a normal part of relationships. This can affect the rest of their lives, and even create a cycle of violence and poverty.

That’s why United Way works to end violence before it happens. United Way’s domestic violence prevention strategy aligns with the Alberta Family Violence Prevention Framework and focuses on promoting healthy relationships, sparking community-building initiatives, ensuring vulnerable people have access to supports and services, and helping residents talk about how to address domestic violence issues in their communities.

United Way engages individuals and families before domestic violence occurs to help alleviate the need for additional intervention services, such as emergency shelters or the justice system. In partnership with other agencies, the strategy also ensures people impacted by domestic violence have access to supports such as counselling, safety planning, and other community resources.

Calgary Police responded to more than 18,500 domestic violence calls in 2017.

In 2017, there were 4,973 victims of domestic violence in Calgary—a 16% increase over the previous year and 47% higher than the five-year average.

Two thirds of women admitted to women’s shelters in Alberta are accompanied by children.

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Humaira smiles at the Genesis Centre, a community gathering place in Calgary's north east

Changing local lives

Meet local people overcoming domestic violence, like Humaira.

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