Focus on Prevention and Awareness


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The prevalence of domestic violence remains high in Alberta. Addressing the root causes of issues that perpetuate domestic violence requires changing social norms, which are influenced by social, political and economic factors. Effective prevention efforts therefore require increasing public awareness of the issues and solutions, along with advocacy for changes in public policy and systems to eliminate inequalities (i.e. for women, for immigrants, for protection of Indigenous women living on and off reserve, etc.).  

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Promising Practices

✓ Delivers domestic violence prevention programs in a variety of settings, including schools, workplaces, community associations, religious organizations, sport teams, parenting groups, government and community-based services and works with them to tailor community education messages and dissemination strategies;

✓ Works to enhance awareness within the legal and justice system to focus on intersections between trauma and its mental, emotional, physiological, and behavioural impacts;

✓ Engages men and boys to challenge harmful conceptions of masculinity, gender construction, and rooting engagement work in principles of equality and human rights; and provides appropriate training for men who advocate for women’s human rights to act as role models and support systems;

✓ Ensures that community education includes information about rights of women and girls and the range of services available to support them;

✓ Uses all available resources, including the media (e.g., television and radio public service announcements, social media messages, billboards, publication of reports) and champions if appropriate, to deliver the message that violence is unacceptable and unjustified;

✓ Ensures that those exposed to domestic violence have the information they need to understand the impact that abuse can have on them and their children;

✓ Helps builds capacity among community partners to champion and lead public awareness work.


See References

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Story: Empowering Women to Recognize Abuse

Key Elements:

  • The work is women-centred and seeks to empower women.  It is rooted in the lived experiences and the abuse and trauma of women.

  • The work reaches out to women where they are at and seeks to meet their needs rather than only expect them to participate in a programme.


Jacquie Aitken-Kish

Providing Assistance, Counselling and Education (PACE) Sexual Assault and Trauma Centre

I have gotten to the point where I carry the definition of battering in my case – if I can see someone in the battering relationship and I can educate them I will do it – because offenders isolate victims and victims don’t always have the opportunity to learn about battering.

I teach the framework on emotional development.  Often women do not understand that individuals who are abusing and controlling them do not have the same level of emotional development that they do – someone with empathy does not understand that not all people work like that.

I had a woman come to me and say, ‘Jacquie, I was at your presentation and it changed my life.’  She realized that she was in a battering relationship and she left.  Before the presentation she minimized her experiences of abuse: she thought it was nothing and that she was the one at fault. 

The work we do here is important: too important not to be doing. 


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Organizations Providing Tools / Resources





Alberta Men's Network


Liza Lorenzetti  



Calgary Domestic Violence Collective


Andrea Silverstone




Kim Ruse



Contact organization for information and resources. 

Interview Summary

Providing Assistance Counselling & Education


Sexual Assault and Trauma Centre

Grande Prairie

Jacquie Aitken

Executive Director


Contact organization for information and resources. 

Interview Summary

Rowan House

High River

Sherrie Botten

Executive Director


Branches Preventative Education Presentations

Interview Summary


See References

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