Family Violence Prevention Month


November is Family Violence Prevention Month in Alberta, an important month focussed on raising awareness on domestic violence and child abuse which is an unfortunately common occurrence in our province.

If you read our last post about Clare’s Law, you will know that Alberta has the third-highest domestic violence rate in all of Canada. A saddening fact.

You may not know that Family Violence Prevention Month started in 1986 as a local initiative in the town of Hinton. The very first family violence education and prevention campaign was launched by Four remarkable Albertans. These individuals first formed The Hinton Society for the Prevention of Family Violence in hopes to raise awareness of this important issue as well as provide support services to family violence victims. 

Back then, family violence was never talked about publicly. Many suffered behind closed doors in silence, fearing for their lives. The support and awareness created on this issue by The Hinton Society eventually inspired the Alberta Legislature to proclaim every November, Family Violence Prevention Month in Alberta

Today their legacy continues! Through public education and services, hundreds of Alberta communities and thousands of individuals are actively involved in helping to prevent family violence. This year’s theme is ‘Learn Where to Turn’ which encourages individuals to learn what resources are available to them online and within their community. In addition, Albertans can show their support by wearing purple and using the hashtag #GoPurpleAB and #WhereToTurn on social media.

This community awareness and support is so important because the static’s are heartbreaking:

  • In Canada, half of all women have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence since the age of 16. 
  • Approximately every six days, a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner.
  • It’s estimated that each year, Canadians collectively spend $7.4 billion to deal with the aftermath of spousal violence alone, according to the Department of Justice.
  • 67% of Canadians say they have personally known at least one woman who has experienced physical sexual abuse.
  • Aboriginal women are killed six times the rate of non-aboriginal women.
  • (Note: These STATS are from 2017)

There remains a stigma behind family violence – but through an increase in talking about it, we can begin to break that stigma. If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, which may be physical, verbal, emotional, financial or sexual, it is important to seek help.

The Government of Alberta has a number of free services including:

  • The Family Violence Information Line: Call 310-1818 to speak to someone anonymously. This helpline is available toll-free to Albertans 24/7 in over 170 languages.
  • Emergency shelters:  There are a number of shelters throughout the province that provide safe locations to stay for people fleeing violent or abusive situations. Visit to find a shelter in your community. 
  • Government of Alberta: You can find a number of free resources and services provided by the Government of Alberta by visiting:

At McGuiness Law, we are here to help you and your family. We cover all costs, with no fee unless we settle in your favour. Call us today for a free consultation and remember, family violence is a crime.