Workplace prevention initiatives empower coworkers & organizations to act

Media Release

May 31, 2017

Workplace prevention initiatives empower coworkers & organizations to act

EDMONTON, Alberta–A workplace program focused on supporting and protecting survivors of domestic violence could be the difference between life and death for some women and children. To coincide with National Victims and Survivors of Crime Week (NVSCW)— from May 29th to June 2nd— the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters (ACWS) is preparing awareness materials and connecting with local organizations to empower women to seek safer lives free from violence and abuse.

The training program, Domestic Violence and Your Workplace, educates employers and employees to recognize the signs of abuse and to make effective interventions on behalf of colleagues/staff facing domestic violence. ACWS will host trainings for management and staff at PC Corp, Concordia University and 41 women’s shelters across Alberta and will circulate Occupational Health & Safety Focus Sheets to 150 key employers throughout the province. 

Announcing the events Christie Lavan, ACWS Leading Change Program Developer said,

“We work to change the culture that tolerates violence against women, and perpetuates this ‘it’s none of my business’ mentality. We inspire and equip workers by breaking down stereotypes and by giving them tools to recognize abuse and intervene."

She continued,

“We know that 74% of domestic violence victims will use work time and resources to deal with domestic violence by a current or former partner (1). This could take the form of stalking, harassment, or even homicide – but most employers have not prepared for this possibility.  Creating a supportive, safety-focused workplace is essential so women can make the best decisions about their own circumstances as they seek protection, stability and healing during a period of great difficulty.”

The 2017 NVSCW theme, “empowering resilience,” recognizes the strength of victims and survivors of crime. NVSCW seeks to spread awareness of available support programs that can help survivors emerge from violent situations with hope. 

(1) Butler Business Solutions Ltd. (July 2010) Final Report for the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters.


National Victims and Survivors of Crime Week is a Federal initiative that seeks to highlight the plight and strength of victims of crime. NVSCW provided financial support to ACWS to conduct awareness activities with organizations in Alberta. These included events with PC Corp, Concordia University and will include shelters across the province. 

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.
Registration: #118780634RR0001

In 2016 the ACWS emergency line received 50,000 calls from women concerned about their safety and well-being.  Employers seeking advice on how to help a women in their workplace who is facing domestic violence should contact ACWS on 780-456-7000.

For further information, please contact: 

Eoin Murray
Communications Advisor, ACWS