The Town of Blackfalds is recognizing Family Violence Month.
The decision to proclaim the month within the town came at a recent town council meeting. It is the second consecutive year the town declared Family Violence Prevention Month in hopes of increasing awareness of how important it is for everyone to be able to live in a safe place.
“It is important for citizens to reach out and speak out against family violence. Blackfalds is a young and progressive community and we are here to support each other. By promoting healthy relationships, we can strengthen the social fabric of our community,” said Blackfalds Mayor Richard Poole in a release issued Thursday.
According to the town, Blackfalds wants to “create a culture of support for those affected by family violence” and is encouraging citizens to not only make the community, but the province violence free.
One of the ways the municipality is working on doing so is through a 16-community coalition called the Regional Vision for Non Violence, which meets three times a year. The mission of the group is to take “collective action to create awareness and educational opportunities to build strong, safe and healthy, resilient communities.”
The coalition has received funding by way of the Alberta Family and Community Safety Program Grant since 2015, which has been used to continue their network of connecting communities to prevent family or sexual violence, as well as help develop and maintain healthy relationships, prevent bullying and support vulnerable communities.
“Blackfalds continues to raise awareness and advocate to reduce family violence in our community,” said Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) Manager Sue Bornn. “Working with our regional partners, we are the local connector for programs that share ideas like Family Violence and Prevention Month in November, and Pink Shirt Day in February, to raise awareness in our community.”
Over the course of the month, there will be several different initiatives in the community to spread awareness of Family Violence Prevention Month.
Chief among them is trees in the municipal offices being lit up purple with red silhouettes, which are a symbol of domestic abuse and family violence. Residents are also encouraged to wear purple in support. Information, banners and brochures will be available at the Abbey Centre.
On Tuesday, Nov. 20, municipal staff and council members – as well as members of the public – are invited to wear blue during World Child Day in order to acknowledge all children and that each of them have rights.
In Lacombe, residents are also encouraged to wear purple and show their support by wearing a purple ribbon and lighting up trees in purple as well.
For more information, visit the Regional Vision for Non Violence website at visionfornonviolence.weebly.com. Additional information can also be found on the Alberta government website at www.alberta.ca/family-violence-prevention-month.aspx.