It’s easy to imagine it doesn’t happen here, but no town is immune to the impact of domestic violence, according to Judi Beebe.
“Those issues are in every community across the province,” said Beebe, executive director for Communities Against Abuse. “I wouldn’t say there’s a higher incidence than other communities, but we’re not immune, either.”
Each November, Beebe and the other members of the local Family Violence Prevention Committee work to raise awareness of the reality of violence in the home.
On Friday, Oct. 24, members of the committee, along with deputy mayor Al Campbell, gathered at Stettler Town Hall to sign a proclamation recognizing November as Family Violence Awareness Month.
A banner to raise awareness has been erected and will be in place on Main Street for the remainder of the month.
As well, for the third year running, members of the committee have distributed red roses to businesses throughout Stettler, where the flowers will be kept on display throughout November.
Gradually, the flowers will wilt and die, serving as a reminder of the women, men and children who have died as a result of domestic violence.
Beebe said six dozen roses were distributed last year, and due to the high level of demand, organizers planned to increase the number to nine or 10 dozen.
While the committee is most visible in November, members are active throughout the year with educational programs and intervention efforts.
These include the “Shaping Tomorrow” program, which runs twice a year in Stettler, reaching out both to those charged in domestic violence cases, and those who have been affected by abusive relationships.
Beebe said the program reaches people from throughout the district, as far as Consort and Coronation.
The committee also offers presentations and workshops for schools, offices and other organizations. For more info, call the Stettler and District Family and Community Support Services office at 403-742-2337.