Posted on Mar 30, 2016

Family Violence Conference - March 2016

Thank you so much to the Parkland & Area Response to Family Violence Committee for organizing the First Annual Spruce Grove, Stony Plain and Parkland County Family Violence Conference "Creating Awareness and Building Hope". I was able to stop in yesterday morning on my way to the Legislature to share greetings and gratitude on behalf of Premier Notley, Honourable Irfan Sabir, Minister of Human Services, and the Government of Alberta and I was so impressed at the huge turnout of police, child protection workers, mental health professionals, probation, crown prosecutors, victim services advocates, Alberta Health Services, and municipal government workers and elected representatives.

To learn more about the PARFVC, here is their website: http://www.familyviolenceresponse.com/home.html

There is no question that the statistics for Alberta are troubling. Alberta has among Canada’s highest rates of family violence. This is unacceptable and compels our government to take action. Across the Government of Alberta, nearly $95 million is invested annually to address family violence. Eight ministries are involved in the provincial response to family violence. Human Services as lead works with Health, Justice and Solicitor General, Indigenous Relations, Education, Culture and Tourism, Seniors and Housing, Status of Women and Alberta Health Services.

Alberta’s Family Violence Framework builds on a foundation of intervention and protection supports and services, including primary prevention. It strengthens the response and services so individuals and families are identified as soon as possible and provided with supports to prevent the violence from reoccurring.

The Protection Against Family Violence Act provides for victim’s safety through protection orders, to protect those who have experienced family violence and prevent further violence. 1,575 emergency protection orders were granted by the courts in 2014/2015. 1,268 orders were granted by the courts between April 1 and December 31, 2015.

Alberta women’s shelters provide personal needs, emergency transportation, shelter and damage deposits for women and children in crisis from family violence, and help them rebuild their lives. Approximately $49.8 million was given in 2015/2016 to support 4,990 women; and 4,567 children.

The Family Violence Info Line (310-1818) has been operating since 2006 and is available to all Albertans 24/7, toll-free, province-wide, in more than 170 languages. A chat function was introduced in November 2014.

We are also investing $20 million to support Family and Community Safety programs. These programs will focus on prevention by addressing the root causes of violence.

Family violence has devastating effects for survivors, families and communities. It will take collective action, communication, and coordination to stop and prevent family violence. My sincere thanks to all of you for your dedication to improving the lives of people who have been touched by family violence in your community.