24-HOUR FAMILY VIOLENCE HELPLINE
Phone: (403) 234-7233 (SAFE) Toll-Free: (866) 606-7233
The 24-Hour Family Violence Helpline is a lifeline to individuals who want to escape the fearful situation of family violence and abuse. Staffed by trained counsellors, the Helpline operates 24-hours a day, 365 days a year and provides support, information, safety planning and confidential counselling. It is often the first line of contact for a woman, family or individual who is in danger and the first courageous step they take to get the help they need, or for someone looking for information about family violence and abuse.
The Helpline received 11,886 calls, which is more than 30 calls a day.
For those who make that courageous step to leave, the Emergency Shelter provides safe and secure accommodation, food, clothing, referral services, support and counselling for women with children and single women.
At the Emergency Shelter, the women and children who arrive find a warm, homelike environment. There are
private family bedrooms so that mothers and their children can be together to feel safe and begin healing. The Shelter is able to accommodate 50 women and children at any given time and provides a safe place to stay.
As many of the women and children come with only the clothes on their back, we supply essential care items — everyday necessities like soap, toothbrushes and shampoo, as well as, pajamas, undergarments,
Partnerships with resources commonly needed by victims of abuse are also brought onsite, ensuring greater accessibility to services, including workshops, weekly group counselling, a school liaison
and a wellness centre.
The Emergency Shelter housed 220 women and 228 children.
Unfortunately, due to the lack of available space at the Shelter facility, 1,780 women and 855 children could not be accommodated, but were helped in other ways through other community resources.
COMMUNITY SERVICES COUNSELLING*
For women who are unable, or choose not to enter the Emergency Shelter, the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter offers programs in the community.
Over 90% of our clients are served through community programs outside of the Emergency Shelter facility. Community Services Counselling focuses on serving women who want short-term, crisis-oriented support as well as longer-term counselling, while living in the community. Counselling occurs in a safe place. Counsellors provide support, safety planning, case planning, parenting support, and navigation of community resources to meet the needs of the women and their children.
Within this program, a Community Services Indigenous Counsellor is available to support women who identify as Indigenous, as well as a Community Services Older Adult Counsellor to support women 50 years and older.
Last year, 931 women accessed the Community Services Counselling program.
*Includes Outreach Counselling
The legal system can be very intimidating, but with the Court Program, women and children experiencing family violence and abuse, who have to go through legal proceedings can do so with hope and confidence.
This program provides a single point of entry to the multitude of legal and court services available to clients, assisting women to explore their options and providing information as needed so they can make the best choices for themselves and/or their family.
Court Case Coordinators help navigate the court system, and provide information, referrals, safety planning, preparation and debriefing, and will attend court with a client, if possible.
In 2017-2018, 301 individuals accessed the Court Program.
CHILD AND ADOLESCENT SERVICES
Child and Adolescent Services is available to clients at the Emergency Shelter and in the community. Compassionate, age-appropriate activities and counselling for children is provided in a safe, stable, interactive environment, as well as family counselling with parent and child, and family support.
The program focuses on supporting healthy family relationships, addressing safety planning, setting individual and family goals, and connections to child-focused resources. Parenting support assists parents in addressing safety, providing a safe and non-judgmental space to share concerns and learn practical strategies to cope with presenting issues.
The Children’s Activity Centre within the Emergency Shelter also provides a blend of structured and child-led play, where the focus with the children is on keeping oneself safe, identifying emotions and socialization.
By providing a safe, secure, and nurturing environment, Child and Adolescent Services is able to foster positive relationships with both mothers and children to support them in their efforts to create healthy families.
Last year, 287 children accessed this program.
Working with our youth is key in the prevention of family violence and abuse in our community.
The Healthy Relationships Program is offered in collaboration with the Calgary Board of Education, the Calgary Catholic School Board and the Rocky View School Division. It uses therapeutic groups and activity-based learning for youth, in junior and senior high schools.
Youth participate in group counselling sessions, discussing issues related to family violence, how to build healthy relationships, boundaries, abusive behaviour, and communication. Individual counselling as appropriate is also offered. Referrals are made at the school by teachers and Guidance Counsellors or through school partner programs.
Last year, 402 youth participated in the program.
MEN’S COUNSELLING SERVICE
Involving men in addressing family violence and abuse, is essential in taking a stand against family violence and abuse. Men play an important role in promoting healthy, respectful, non-violent relationships which will help shift attitudes and change the conversation.
The Men’s Counselling Service offers non-judgmental individual and/or group counselling to men who are concerned their anger and abusive behaviours are negatively impacting their family members. It addresses the need for men to take responsibility for their abusive behaviours, and their ability to change them.
A family’s safety is also a concern in this program, so counselling and safety planning is provided to the man’s family.
In 2017-2018, 418 men participated in the Men’s Counselling Service.
Men’s Counselling Service website: MCScalgary.com.