Event addresses sharp increase in domestic violence in Calgary
Domestic violence is on the rise in the city and on Tuesday police chief Roger Chaffin spoke out about the growing issue at a breakfast hosted by Discovery House.
In May, police released new numbers on domestic violence that showed a 10 percent increase in 2015 over the year before. The statistics also indicated that domestic assaults involving weapons jumped by 70 percent in 2015 over 2014.
In 2015, police received more than 3200 domestic violence calls, which is an increase of 24 percent over the last five years.
In the first quarter of 2016, there has already been a 40 percent jump in domestic violence calls and police say those calls increase as the unemployment rate rises.
Discovery House hosted an event, called 'Opening Doors: Shedding Light on Domestic Violence', on Tuesday morning at The Bow Building to open conversation and promote change.
"People need to continue talking about it and anything that people feel comfortable doing, there are simple ways. Whether it is raising money for the organization by putting on a golf tournament, doing a third party event, making inquiries, checking out the website. There are many things that people are able to do and the important thing is that people are comfortable with the action that they take," said Monique Auffrey, Executive Director of Discovery House.
Auffrey says that everyone is impacted by domestic violence in some way. "I think many people have preconceived notions as to what domestic violence looks like and what we know is everyone is impacted by domestic violence. Everyone has a family member, a neighbour, a friend, a colleague whose door has been touched by domestic violence."
Discovery House provides several safe suites at its shelter for women and children to use for up to a year and also helps hundreds of mothers and their children find community housing.
Statistics Canada says only 30 percent of victims report abusive situations to police.