Helping families battle violence in the home coming on 40 years, Judi Beebe of Donalda received an Inspiration Award from the provincial government last week to kick off Family Violence Awareness Month.
One of three individual recipients, she was honoured by the new Ministry of Family and Community Safety during a ceremony in Calgary.
“Just doing this type of work is one thing, and having somebody notice your efforts that you make in working with children and families is another thing,” said Beebe, who has served as the only executive-director of the Association of Communities Against Abuse.
The group began 25 years ago and serves the Stettler and Castor regions.
With a career spanning 39 years, Beebe has served is a variety of roles as child and youth care counsellor, social worker, foster parent, community awareness co-ordinator, board member and chair of Camrose Women’s Shelter.
“When I was young and in school, a girl in my school experienced a lot of domestic violence in her home and I would often bring her to my home and she told me about her situation, and so I thought somebody should do something about it,” Beebe said.
“I thought I would go into a career where I know I could make a difference.”
After embarking on the career at 20 years old, she has touched many lives and families and serves on family violence committees in Stettler, Drumheller, Camrose and Beaver County.
“I hear stories every day from people who have experienced sexual abuse in the childhood or domestic abuse from their partner,” said Beebe, who has a daughter employed as a social worker and her other daughter as a music therapist.
“To know that someone will listen to them and believe them, and offer support and help, is really the most important thing we can do.”
As her career demonstrates, Beebe has a passion to build a strong and healthy community.
Nominated by a social worker from Red Deer, Beebe has been a key player to bring psycho-educational group programming to men, women and children involved in or affected by family violence in the Stettler area.
Beebe also represented Alberta on a national committee with the Public Health Agency of Canada to develop the training resource — Addressing Family Violence … Peace Begins at Home.”