Calgary Women's Emergency Shelter

Calgary Women's Emergency Shelter

March 17, 2010 14:50 ET

Calgary Women's Emergency Shelter: New Research Is Catalyst to Take a Stand Against Family Violence

The Calgary Women's Emergency Shelter releases:

"Stand up Against Family Violence: 2009 Community Needs Assessment"

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - March 17, 2010) - Independent research released by the Calgary Women's Emergency Shelter is fueling new conversations among family violence agencies as well as those addressing related community issues such as homelessness and affordable housing.

Stand up Against Family Violence: 2009 Community Needs Assessment collected the perceptions of Calgarians about family violence. The research identifies the prevalence of people directly affected by family violence, indicates the need to support people to seek help, and underscores the importance of increasing understanding of what family violence is and its broad and damaging impact.

"This research provides valuable insights into how all Calgarians can be part of the solution to family violence, helping people get the support they desperately need to be safe," says Lisa Falkowsky, Executive Director of the Calgary Women's Emergency Shelter. "We encourage everyone to take time today to go to or phone the 24 hour Family Violence Helpline (403) 234-SAFE (7233) to learn more about how you can be part of ending family violence."

"Family violence is the most prevalent social issue facing our community. This research provides significant hope because we heard from individuals, businesses and the family violence sector, other community organizations, government, the media and many more who want to be part of increasing efforts to end family violence."

Key findings include:

- Many (62 per cent) of Calgarians have experienced family violence or know someone who has.

- Many (59 per cent) Calgarians see family violence as more serious now than it was 10 years ago.

- Despite the prevalence of family violence in the community, the social issues that are top of mind for Calgarians, at the time of the survey, include crime, affordable housing, unemployment and homelessness. Family violence falls much lower on the social issues radar.

- Calgarians consider Women's Shelters trustworthy organizations from which to get help if experiencing family violence.

- Many Calgarians (68%) expressed interest in learning more about family violence prevention and services in Calgary. Through their comments, it became apparent that many citizens would like to better know how to recognize the signs of family violence and to help someone who is experiencing family violence

The research also highlighted that, although many Calgarians have experienced family violence, fewer than half of the Calgarians experiencing family violence sought help.

About the Calgary Women's Emergency Shelter

As the first organization in Western Canada to support Calgarians experiencing family violence, the Calgary Women's Emergency Shelter has changed the lives of more than 100,000 women and children, youth and men over the past 35 years with family violence crisis support, counselling and prevention services. The Calgary Women's Emergency Shelter services are free for clients; all of our services respect confidentiality and focus on individuals' strengths; all of our services are working towards a society free from family violence.

24 hour Family Violence Helpline 403 234-SAFE (7233) for counselling , information or to get help.

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