November is Family Violence Prevention Month in Alberta, Canada – and I couldn’t think of a better organization than the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters to support for our organization of the month. ACWS is an organization close to my heart, as I previously interned for them as an events/communications assistant. It’s where I learned a lot about my career, myself and the issues of domestic and family violence. While working there, I was able to read articles, hear stories and meet people who changed my life. I learned what the signs are in an abusive situation, how difficult it can be to get out and what the legalities are when attempting to get out.
ACWS works with various shelters around Alberta to ensure that women get the support they need if they find themselves in abusive situations. The organizations works to erase the stigma that women who find themselves in an abusive relationship are weak and could get out easily if they wanted to. The fact is that women are at risk the most when leaving an abusive relationship, and often calling the police and filing for restraining orders only adds more fuel to the fire. Shelters are safe places where women can stay and bring their children – however, they quickly run out of room and do not have the resources to help everyone.
But ACWS is working daily to bring more awareness to these issues and give abused women the healthy and happy lives they deserve. If you are experiencing domestic or family violence, or would just like more information on the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters, go to www.acws.ca for more information.