November is Family Violence Prevention Month and, according to the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, of all reported violent crime in Canada in 2016, more than one quarter resulted from family violence. However, experts know these crimes are under-reported – 2014 statistics indicated fewer than one in five people abused by a spouse reported it to police.Though family violence can happen to anyone, research indicates factors can increase the risk of violence in a household. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, community factors include diminished economic opportunities and high concentrations of poor residents – issues currently prevalent in Alberta’s economy – as well as low levels of community participation and high levels of transiency.
Social risk factors include association with delinquent peers, social rejection and lack of involvement in conventional activities.
While these are only a few risk factors, and we haven’t touched on family or individual elements, it does highlight the contribution of the community environment.
It is important we educate, support and end the transmission of violence from one generation to the next. Airdrie RCMP outline the signs of an unhealthy relationship in presentations at local high schools. We implore you to do the same by promoting an intolerant attitude toward violence, presenting consistent negative reinforcement to aggression and talking to youth about the issue.
If you’re in an abusive relationship and need support, contact the Family Violence Information Line at 310-1818 to get help anonymously.