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Media Release Archive

Media Release

Child trauma-recovery requires safety, support & love. 

 

Shelter staff from across Alberta receive training on the science of trauma intervention. 

July 10th, 2018

Edmonton, AB -  The Alberta Council of Women's Shelters (ACWS) today welcomed 45 shelter staff from central and northern Alberta to a two-day training event on the science and practice of trauma recovery.*  The newly updated 'Children's Curriculum' was developed to support staff in women's shelters.  Shelter staff provide loving care to children and mothers who have experienced the trauma of domestic violence and may also have experienced other traumatic events including war, forced migration or the impact of colonial policies.

In recent years the scientific understanding of brain development and traumatic events has grown exponentially to demonstrate both the impact of trauma on the developing brain but also the possibility of recovery. 

Speaking today Ian Wheeliker, ACWS Director of Programs will say,

"Brain development of children who face abuse, or have witnessed the abuse of their mother, may be adversely impacted, contributing to educational, social and health challenges throughout their lifetime."

He will continue,

"Interventions provided by women's shelters can help mitigate the impact of trauma on children.  Shelters provide a safe, loving and supportive environment for children and their mothers.  Shelter staff support mothers to better understand the impact of trauma on their children.  Children and mothers both develop strategies and skills to support their healing journey." 

This training provides shelter child care staff with information on the most recent scientific developments and practical tools for them to use with children and mothers.  

Around 5,000 children enter women's shelter every year, most of them under the age of 8.  Shelters offer a range of supports that may include child care, mother-child support groups, play therapy and trauma-informed playrooms.  Children have also benefited from the Government of Alberta's 2015 injection of $15 million which included limited support for trauma-informed children's programming.  

Ian Wheeliker will conclude,

"A significant new investment is required to meet the extremely high demand for services, including funds earmarked for child-trauma intervention.  Such an investment will create enormous long-term benefits in our health and education systems.  Such an investment will ensure shelters can create safe spaces for mothers and children to heal together."

 

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For further information please contact:

Eoin Murray
Communications & Partnerships Advisor
780-218-4468


Notes for Editors

 

 

The new children's curriculum was commissioned by ACWS and developed by Dr. Dawn Clark, Director of the Centre for Child Well-Being in Mount Royal University.  Funding was provided by the Government of Alberta and by a grant from the IODE.

* Shelters from northern and central Alberta will participate in the Edmonton training on July 10th and 11th.  Shelter staff from southern Alberta will participate in training in Calgary on July 17th and 18th.

ACWS has developed an Inventory of Promising Practices on protection and support for children exposed to domestic violence freely available to service providers.

The Alberta Council of Women's Shelters includes 35 member organizations from throughout the province providing both emergency and second-stage (long-term) care for women, children and seniors facing abuse.

ACWS Charitable registration: #118780634RR0001 



Media Release

May 31st, 2018

New OH&S legislation supports safer workplaces and points to better supports for survivors of domestic violence.

ACWS welcomes the inclusion of domestic violence in new Bill which comes in to effect June 1st.

 

Edmonton, AB -  Today, the Alberta Council of Women's Shelters (ACWS)  welcomed Bill 30 which comes into effect on the 1st of June, 2018, as the Act to Protect the Health and Wellbeing of Working Albertans.  The Act, upgrading the Occupational Health & Safety Act, now specifically identifies domestic violence as a workplace hazard which all employers need to account for.  

Christie Lavan, the ACWS Leading Change Program Developer said,

"This is the first time the legislation has included domestic and sexual violence in the definition of workplace violence.  Given the high demands shelters face, and the prevalence of domestic violence in Alberta, we know this is already impacting business.   The impact can range from a co-worker being distracted because of what they are dealing with at home, up to and including, an estranged spouse stalking their ex-partner at the office with a weapon. "

The ACWS Leading Change Program trains and provides consultations for business, government and non-profits about the impact of domestic violence on the workplace.  The training offers support to employers seeking to comply with their due diligence obligations under the legislation.  It also helps employers and employees recognize the signs of domestic violence and offer appropriate support to co-workers living with it. 

Lavan observed,

"Intimate partner violence can easily arrive at the door of any workplace.  Some Alberta employers have taken important steps to ensure the safety of their workplaces because they know that a prepared workplace is a safer workplace." 

 

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For further information please contact:

Eoin Murray
Communications & Partnerships Advisor
780-218-4468


Note for Editors


About the Act to Protect the Health and Wellbeing of Working Albertans
The Act comes in to force on June 1st.  It defines workplace violence, whether at a work site or work-related, as "the threatened, attempted or actual conduct of a person that causes or is likely to cause physical or psychological injury or harm, and includes domestic or sexual violence." 
 

Leading Change is the ACWS Call to Action to prevent and end Violence Against Women.  

Since 2007 Alberta Council of Women's Shelters (ACWS) has developed and offered Domestic Violence in Your Workplace Training for a variety of clients: schools, businesses, government, non-profits and communities.  Past clients include the City of Edmonton, Syncrude, Enbridge, Bee Clean, Concordia University of Edmonton and Liquor World.  An independent study commissioned by ACWS showed that domestic violence costs an average of $85,000 per 100 employees [Butler Business Solutions Ltd. (July 2010) “Final Report”.]


The  ACWS' Leading Change program is partially funded by the Government of Alberta.

 

Media release

May 23rd, 2018

National Summit on Gender-Based Violence Prevention to be held in Alberta.

ACWS Leading Change Summit 2019: 

 

Bold conversations to end gender-based violence in a changing world.
 
Edmonton, AB -  Today, the Alberta Council of Women's Shelters (ACWS)  announced the dates and one of the keynote speakers for a national conference about primary prevention of Gender-Based Violence.

The Leading Change Summit will take place in River Cree Resort from the 19th to the 21st of February, 2019.  The summit will serve as a focal point for experts, practitioners and activists concerned about preventing gender-based violence and abuse. 

ACWS is honoured to announce that Dr. Michael Flood of Queensland University of Technology in Australia will be one of the keynote speakers at the summit.

Dr. Flood is an internationally recognized researcher on men, masculinities and violence prevention.  His research covers topics including the impact of pornography on young people, particularly boys, sex education policy and the role of men's rights groups in alienating men. 

Christie Lavan, the ACWS Leading Change Program Developer said,

"Dr. Flood brings a researched, evidence-based understanding of the violent consequences women face because of pornography and our society's endorsement of unhealthy models of masculinity and  sexuality."

Lavan observed,

"As the #MeToo movement unveils the extent of male violence against women we must consider how to lead a shift in our media, our workplaces, our classrooms and our homes to foster safe and loving environments for women and girls, men and boys."

The ACWS Leading Change summit is an opportunity for anyone concerned about eliminating gender-based violence and abuse to hold bold conversations and generate creative solutions.  It will also showcase the remarkable primary prevention work happening and include public sessions for those who would like to learn more about the issue.  Regular updates will be posted on the conference webpage.
 
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For further information please contact:

Eoin Murray
Communications & Partnerships Advisor
780-218-4468


Note for Editors

 

Leading Change is the ACWS Call to Action to prevent and end Violence Against Women.  It is founded on the belief that we need everyone, people of all genders, young and old, rural and urban, to be involved in changing the social and cultural norms that underpin the epidemic of gender-based violence in our communities. 

Alberta Council of Women's Shelters (ACWS) offers gender-based violence prevention training for a variety of clients: schools, businesses, government, non-profits and communities. Our training invites people to look at how they can make a lasting contribution to end violence against women.  We aim to catalyze audiences into action, providing the knowledge and tools to intervene against sexism and abuse day to day. 

ACWS' Leading Change program is partially funded by the Government of Alberta.
 

Further details about Leading Change.

About Dr. Michael Flood
 
Dr. Michael Flood is an Associate Professor in Sociology at the Queensland University of Technology, internationally recognized for his research on men, masculinities and violence prevention.  He has published widely on the primary prevention of violence against women, men and gender, heterosexuality and pornography.  He runs a blog focused on these issues called XYonline.  
 
 

Press release: 

 

Minister Ganley launches ACWS online toolkit to help end domestic violence.

 

Media Advisory

Edmonton, AB. - Friday, 11th of May the Alberta Council of Women's Shelters will launch a new online Inventory of Promising Practices showcasing work by organisations across the province working to end domestic violence and abuse.

The Inventory is an online resource detailing many of the most effective methods developed by community organizations and government agencies which can support women and children facing domestic violence.  The Inventory includes practices across seven core areas, including the justice system, child welfare, safety planning, culturally-appropriate service provision, violence prevention and violence & trauma-informed service provision, and creating cross-sectoral collaboration.

The toolkit can be used by both individuals and organizations to enhance their work in support of women and children facing domestic violence.

The Inventory was developed after input and consultation with 298 service providers in 7 consultation meetings Province-wide, interviews with 75 survivors of domestic violence combined with an extensive review of international and Canadian academic literature.  Service providers nominated their own promising practices to be shared with other organizations.

Speaking at the launch Carolyn Goard, ACWS Director of Member Services will say,

'Women and children facing domestic abuse need safety, shelter and specialized-supports.  We must place them at the heart of service-provision, grounded in partnership between community organizations and government agencies.  This toolkit will allow organizations to build collaboration around promising practices they believe will help ensure the safety of women and children.'

Alberta Minister for Justice and Solicitor General Kathleen Ganley will say,

'Our government is committed to improving outcomes for survivors by supporting initiatives like this one.  I commend the Alberta Council of Women's Shelters for building this online inventory.  It will be a source of valuable, up-to-date information for the organizations working to keep women and children safe from domestic violence.'

RCMP A/Commissioner John Ferguson will say,

'The RCMP is often the first responder to a domestic violence situation.  Many of our members have seen these situations unfold first-hand.  We know there is no single cause of abuse and no single agency can solve the problem.  The collaboration to create this Inventory indicates the significance of every agency being involved.'

Carolyn Goard will conclude,

'The Inventory of Promising Practices includes key areas of service-provision in which it is essential to support women and create collaboration.  The evidence is clear when we do this we can dramatically improve the outcomes for women and their children so they can live in safety and dignity.'

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Launch event.
May 11, 2018  -  
10 to 11 a.m.
RCMP, K-Division Headquarters
11140 109 Street NW
Edmonton, AB

Speakers: 

Hon. Kathleen Ganley
Alberta Minister of Justice & Solicitor General
Randy Boissoinault M.P., video-greetings  
John FergusonRCMP Assistant Commissioner
Carolyn GoardACWS Director of Member Programs & Services

Alberta Council of Women's Shelters is launching a new Inventory of Promising Practices, developed as part of the Safety from Domestic Violenceproject. This inventory represents the culmination of extensive consultation and research into the supports and barriers facing women and children fleeing domestic abuse in Alberta.  ACWS has not evaluated the practices in the toolkit, which is designed for information sharing.

About the project:
Following a two-year research process with ACWS members, survivors, service providers, government, law enforcement and leading experts in the field of domestic violence prevention, ACWS has developed a practical inventory of evidence-based actions we can take as a community to enhance safety for survivors of domestic violence.

The Inventory of Promising Practices will function as an interactive online tool that (1) service providers can use to improve the safety of women fleeing abuse, (2) survivors can use to understand the resources available in Alberta, and (3) funders can use to assess proposals.

 

For further information please contact:

Eoin Murray
Communications and Partnerships Advisor

eoin.murray@acws.ca
780-218-4468

About ACWS:
Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters (ACWS) supports member shelters and works together to end domestic violence and abuse. ACWS was incorporated in 1983 and is a registered charity.

The Safety from Domestic Violence project is funded by Alberta Justice & Solicitor General and Status of Women Canada.
 
ACWS Charitable Registration: #118780634RR0001

April 12, 2018


 
International Domestic Violence expert in Edmonton to train AB shelter staff

 

EVENT:
Danger Assessment Training with Dr. Jacqueline Campbell 
   

Dr. Jacqueline Campbell of Johns Hopkins University will be in Edmonton on April 19-20, 2018 to provide women's shelters and community partners with updated Danger Assessment (DA) training.

Dr. Campbell will deliver a keynote address focusing on:

- the use of the DA in Alberta and around the world;
- the use of the DA as a tool for enhancing safety from domestic violence;
- the use of the tool in immigrant communities and among women in same-sex relationships.

The Danger Assessment (DA) is a tool for determining a woman's risk of being killed by her intimate partner, originally developed by Dr. Jacqueline Campbell. The tool has been widely tested and modified, including here in Alberta.


WHO:             
Dr. Jacqueline Campbell is the Anna D. Wolf Chair in Johns Hopkins University. She is a renowned leader in research and advocacy on domestic violence. She has authored or co-authored more than 230 publications and seven books on violence and health outcomes. Her full bio is available here.

Alberta Council of Women's Shelters is hosting the event, providing free training and certification for member shelters. 


WHEN (Media Availability):           
April 19, 2017
Dr. Campbell's Keynote: 8:45 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. 
Media availability: Jan Reimer (ACWS) & Dr. Campbell will be available for interviews at 10:45 a.m.
 
WHERE:         
Chateau Lacombe
10111 Bellamy Hill Rd NW 
Edmonton, AB T5J 1N7
Main floor Salon C

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For further information please contact:

Eoin Murray
Communications and Partnerships Advisor
eoin.murray@acws.ca
780-218-4468


About ACWS:
Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters (ACWS) supports member shelters and works together to end domestic violence and abuse. ACWS was incorporated in 1983 and is a registered charity.
 
ACWS Charitable Registration: #118780634RR0001

Danger Assessment: 

 

The Danger Assessment helps to determine the level of danger an abused woman has of being killed by her intimate partner. It is free and available to the public. Every year 3-4 million women in the U.S. are abused and 1,500-1,600 are killed by their abusers. The challenge for those who encounter abused women is to identify those with the highest level of danger. For 25 years, the Danger Assessment Instrument has been used by law enforcement, healthcare professionals, and domestic violence advocates. 
More details here.

Dr. Jacqueline Campbell:
Access full biography from Johns Hopkins University

 

 

Press Release
December 7th, 2017.

Provincial funding helps women change their lives.
 
Release of annual shelter statistics shows that the number of women and children entering shelter remained at a constant. Shelter outreach services supported 45% more people than in the previous year.  
 
Edmonton, AB. – The release of the 2016-17 aggregate statistics by the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters shows the impact of the 2015 investment in funds by the Provincial government.
 
Almost ten thousand were accommodated in emergency, seniors' or second stage shelters.  Shelter outreach services served an additional 6,147 women and children, an increase in 45% from the previous year.
 
Speaking on release of the statistics ACWS Executive Director Jan Reimer said,
 
“Thanks to the 2015 injection of funds from the Provincial government shelters have been able to hire more staff to cope with the overwhelming demand for services.  These statistics bear out the reality that when funded shelters can have an enormous impact on the lives of those who are in unsafe relationships.”
 
She continued,
 
“Extending outreach into the community allows shelters to meet women where they need support.”
 
Reimer noted,
 
“But the reality remains: emergency shelters are still often full, 13,236 women and children were forced to make the unpalatable choice of returning to their abusive partner or becoming homeless simply due to lack of capacity in the system.  A further 9038 women and children could not access emergency shelter services for other reasons.”  
 
Indigenous women make up more than half of shelter admissions (55%) reflecting the particular risks they face. 
 
Jan Reimer said,
 
“The disparity in funding for on-reserve shelters remains a massive problem.  The Federal government committed to providing equivalent services for on-reserve shelters as the Province provides for off-reserve shelters.   Bridging this gap is essential to reducing the risks faced by Indigenous women.”
 
Reimer concluded,
 
“Shelters continue to help women transform their lives.  We hope that the Provincial government will extend and elevate its commitment to all women’s shelters.  We also hope that the public at large will choose to give generously to Alberta’s sheltering organisations this holiday season.”
 

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Media availability

Shelter Directors from across Alberta are meeting in Edmonton on Friday, December 8th.
Jan Reimer from ACWS and shelter directors will be available for media comment at 10.15 am in the offices of ACWS, 600 10310 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton.

Media inquiries may be directed through ACWS or through local shelters.  A list of Alberta shelters is available here.

ACWS Media contact: 
Eoin Murray
Communications Advisor
Email: eoin.murray@acws.ca
Cell: 780-218-4468
  
ACWS Background
 
The Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters serves 41 member shelters throughout the Province working together for a world free from violence and abuse.   ACWS was incorporated in 1983 and is a registered charity.
 
ACWS Charitable Registration: #118780634RR0001
 
In September 2015 the Provincial Government announced a $15m injection of funds to Alberta’s shelters.  This is the first release of ACWS annual aggregate statistics to show the impact of the funding.
 
A downloadable copy of the Annual Data report is available on the ACWS website, here.

Twitter: 
@womenshelter

#16Days

 

Media Advisory
November 27th, 2017

A Better Man - movie screening

Dec 4, 2017 at the Metro Cinema
7 p.m. showing
FREE

 


Press Kit for A Better Man
Alberta Council of Women's Shelters (ACWS) in partnership with the City of Edmonton's Gender-Based Violence & Sexual Assualt Council Initiative is hosting a free screening of A Better Manat the Metro Cinema in Edmonton on December 4th, 2017 at 7 p.m. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with co-director, Attia Khan. 

Khan explains, "A Better Man documents a personal experiment for me and my abusive ex-partner -- a step towards understanding and accountability. By getting closer to the truth of what survivors experience, and of why men choose to use violence, we can help stop the abuse."

A Better Man offers a nuanced look at the healing and revelation that can happen for everyone involved when men take responsibility for their abuse. The film empowers audience members to play new roles in challenging domestic violence, whether in their own relationships or as part of a broader movement for social change. 

The film has been selected for multiple festivals (see press kit below) and the event is sponsored by the National Film Board of Canada

Free tickets are available through Eventbrite.

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Media Contact: 
Eoin Murray
Communications and Relationship Adviser
eoin.murray@acws.ca
780-218-4468

 

About Alberta Council of Women's Shelters: 
Incorporated in 1983 Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters (ACWS) supports 41 members operating 51 shelters across the province, working together for a world free from violence and abuse. 

ACWS Charitable Registration: #118780634RR0001

 

 

Media Release
November 21, 2017

Male leaders call for an end to domestic violence


Edmonton, AB-- Male leaders from business, government and the non-profit world are gathering in Edmonton tomorrow morning to call for an end to domestic violence.

The 12th annual ACWS Breakfast with the Guys event is taking place in the Chateau Lacombe from 6:45-8.30am on Wednesday the 22nd of November.

Speaking at the Breakfast Jan Reimer, Executive Director of the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters will say,

“More than 5,000 women entered Edmonton’s shelters in the last fiscal year.  These women faced a range of abusive behaviours including sexual assault, physical assault, emotional and financial abuse.”

Jan Reimer continued,

“Breakfast with the Guys is an opportunity for the ‘good guys’ to come together and make a clear statement in opposition to our society’s degradation of women.  It is so important that they do this to counteract the news we hear every day  of men engaging in  domestic violence and sexual assault.  At this year’s Breakfast speakers will talk about how it feels to respond to domestic violence in a range of situations, including in women’s shelters, as a family doctor and as survivors.”

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Breakfast with the Guys Details and Background: 

The Breakfast with the Guys is an annual event organised by the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters.  This year over 200 women and men leaders will gather to discuss the theme of ‘How Does it Feel?’  Emcee for the event will be Deputy Premier and Minister for Health, Sarah Hoffman.

Other speakers will touch on how it feels to confront domestic violence in a range of situations:

  • Pat Vargas, Executive Director of A Safe Place women’s shelter in Sherwood Park.
  • Dr. Suzanne Squires, Westview PCN & Westgrove Clinic
  • Maria Fitzpatrick, MLA
  • Keon Raymond, ACWS Leading Change trainer/VP of the CFL Players Association and 2-time Grey Cup winner with the Calgary Stampeders.
  • Tuval Nafshi, ACWS Leading Change Community Developer
  
ACWS Background:
Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters (ACWS) supports 41 member shelters across Alberta and works together to end domestic violence and abuse. ACWS was incorporated in 1983 and is a registered charity.
 
ACWS Charitable Registration: #118780634RR0001
 

ACWS Media contact: 
Eoin Murray
Communications Advisor
Email: eoin.murray@acws.ca
Cell: 780-218-4468
 
 
Twitter: 
@womenshelter
#BWG
#VAW
#ACWS
#yeg