It’s Time!

Overwhelmed! I am in absolute awe of the number of partners, new and existing,came out to support the proclamation of Family Violence Prevention Month inEdmonton. Last year, more than 5,400 women sought safety in women’s shelters and along with them were more than 5,000 children. Edmonton has some of the highest rates of gender-based violence in Canada which is both sad and alarming. While we have great responsive services and strong partners who are supporting victims and children, there is still work to do.

Today we came together to stand together and speak up about Gender BasedViolence and Sexual Assault. It is time to take action, speak up and change our attitudes. We need to start talking about it and that will take our entire community. I was overjoyed to see business, media, sports, faith leaders, unions, education and community groups step up to take actions in their respective organizations. I’m very proud that City Council, City Staff, and Unions also stepped up and have committed to take action on this important issue.

It’s not always an easy conversation when we suspect someone is a victim of violence but, it is an important one. Victims have families and no action can delay getting help to some very vulnerable children. We all need to speak up and provide support to those in need.

I’m hoping we will find ways to educate employees and supervisors, provide tools and resources to educate and support business, faith groups and cultural groups. We all need to talk about it. It’s not a secret – it is unacceptable but, people who are victims need our support and understanding.

How do you help? How do I help? Talk about it with your friends, co-workers and network. Let’s change our community – one conversation at a time until we have a collective roar that says: “Not in our Community!”

Will you join me?

Find information and resources by calling the 24-hour Family Violence Info Line at 310-1818, toll-free, or visit endfamilyviolence.albert.ca.

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