Alberta has the third-highest rate of self-reported spousal violence among Canadian provinces, yet family violence is preventable.
Alberta Community and Social Services minister Rajan Sawhney has proclaimed November as Family Violence Prevention Month, and Cochrane town council followed suit earlier this week.
In addition, the town has also declared Nov. 25 as Go Purple Day.
"The declaration will be supported with municipal communication activities, including the lighting of the bridge on Nov. 25," explained Councillor Tara McFadden in seeking the proclamation. McFadden is also fund development officer and public relations officer for the Big Hill Haven.
“Family violence is devastating and happens every day," says Sawhney. "During Family Violence Prevention Month, I want to remind Albertans of what we can all do to help those experiencing family violence by knowing where to go to find help."
This year's theme #WhereToTurn encourages people to learn what resources are available to support those impacted by family violence and to not be afraid to reach out.
"This is not a situation to be suffered in silence – or suffered at all," says Sawhney. "We must realize it is in every community and can be experienced by anyone, young or old, regardless of gender, orientation, or ethnic background."
Here in Cochrane, Big Hill Haven has been working in Cochrane and area supporting families impacted by domestic abuse since 2016. It is committed to ending the cycle of abuse and violence by raising awareness through prevention, intervention, and education.
It works with partners in the community to provide assistance to women and children experiencing domestic abuse through emergency housing, community outreach, and case management programs.
"A great part of family violence prevention is we each raise the light on domestic violence and family violence and we need to talk about it, be aware of it, make sure that we know that there are supports there to help people," says McFadden.
"Certainly, Big Hill Haven is here to help families not only in Cochrane but the surrounding area."
In conjunction with Family Violence Prevention Month, Big Hill Haven has launched the "Hundred for the Haven" fundraiser.