A collaborative blog from the CDVC

In a report presented to a city committee on community and protective services this May, the Calgary Police Services (CPS), demonstrated that domestic abuse continues to climb as the economic crisis deepens. In 2016, CPS recorded 3,709 domestic incident calls, compared to 3,282 calls in 2015.

This increase illustrates the need for continued collective impact work through organizations like the Calgary Domestic Violence Collective.

The Calgary Domestic Violence Collective is comprised of more than 60 community partners and strives each year to end domestic and sexual abuse in our community.

So why is collective impact so important?

Domestic abuse touches many lives, crosses all socio-economic boundaries and does not discriminate for cultural or ethnic reasons. In order to combat the wide spectrum of abuse and violence that exists today, it takes many organizations and disciplines. These organizations must first understand why abuse and violence is happening and secondly, develop programs to support, educate and prevent domestic abuse and violence from occurring and reoccurring.

The goal behind collective impact is to bring communities together to alleviate gaps in how domestic abuse and violence is approached. These groups can have a variety of support at their disposal including law enforcement, justice, treatment, education, and prevention.

Last year, the Calgary Domestic Violence Collective held its first-annual Bridging Communities Conference in November alongside their ongoing kick-off and recognition of Alberta’s Family Violence Prevention month. This conference provided influential presentations on several topics such as the intersection of domestic and sexual violence, engaging rural communities in domestic abuse programing and working collectively with families experiencing trauma. Keynote speaker Dr. Lori Haskell, C. Psych., spoke on the importance of trauma informed approaches to domestic abuse to more than 150 attendees. This inaugural conference helped service providers make important connections and find new ways to address the issue of domestic and sexual abuse in Calgary.

In 2017, we will continue to learn from and work collectively with one another in order to identify what supports are offered to victims of domestic abuse, discuss public policy ideas that can break down societal barriers to ending abuse as well as educate and engage the public. The CDVC will once again hold its conference this year and presents Bridging Communities through Strengthened Collaboration, the second annual interdisciplinary conference on family violence prevention on November 1, 2017. Stay tuned for registration details to come.