How to Get Help
Trained staff are available to provide advice and support to individuals and families 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in more than 170 languages.
Family Violence Info Line 310‑1818
Child Abuse Hotline 1‑800‑387‑5437
Financial Supports for Albertans Fleeing Abuse
- Funding is available to help people get to safety, set up a new household or start a new life.
- Alberta Works: Supports for Albertans Fleeing Abuse Fact Sheet
- For more information, call the 24-hour contact centre at 1‑866‑644‑5135 (toll free) or 780‑644‑5135 (Edmonton area).
Services for Aboriginal People
- Services are available for Aboriginal people dealing with family violence in Alberta:
- Call the Family Violence Info Line at 310‑1818 for information on services in your area.
- You can also talk to an Elder in your community, a community health nurse, caseworker or other trusted professional.
- Call the police, RCMP or Tribal Police for help.
- If you live on a Métis Settlement, you can contact your Métis Settlements Child and Family Services to locate your Positive Living Outreach Worker for support and referrals to the services most appropriate to your situation.
Sexual Assault Centres
Also known as rape crisis centres, sexual assault centres provide a safe place for healing to begin for those who have been victimized, both female and male. Services include:
- Crisis intervention counselling (individual and group)
- Education and awareness programs aimed at prevention, and
- Advocacy and support (accompany survivours through the justice and health systems, help navigate the various services available, etc.).
How to Help
What you can do
As an individual who may come in contact with people experiencing family violence, you can:
1. Listen to and assess the situation
- Listening to victims of family violence is very important. They may feel alone, ashamed, angry or scared. Reach out and offer your support. Tell them they are not alone, and that the abuse is not their fault.
- After hearing what the person has to say about their situation, determine how serious the threat of violence is at the present moment. If you feel the situation is high risk, call the police immediately. Otherwise, refer the person to appropriate agencies in the community.
- If you need help assessing a family violence situation, call the 24-hour Family Violence Info line toll-free at 310‑1818.
2. Develop a network of colleagues
- A network of colleagues can be an excellent resource. Do you have a colleague who works closely with abused people in Aboriginal communities? What about someone who studies cases of elder abuse or children exposed to family violence? By developing a list of professionals you can turn to for advice, and who you can refer people to for help, you are helping to provide the highest quality of care.
- Take stock of the professionals you know who are dedicated to helping people living with family violence, and mentor others as a way to share knowledge and provide encouragement. It is important to belong to a professional “circle of support”.
3. Work with individuals to create a safety plan
- Developing a safety plan will help prepare people if they need to leave a situation in a hurry. The plan should include:
- Talking to a trusted family member or friend about what’s going on. When people know about the abuse, they can watch for danger signs and help keep victims safe and protect any children involved.
- Knowing who to call, where to go, how to get there and what to bring if a situation turns violent. A back-up plan should also be made in case things do not go as expected.
- Learning about laws that protect people from family violence and the rights of victims. Tell your client about emergency protection orders, restraining orders and peace bonds, which are some of the legal ways to stop an abuser from contacting a victim.
4. Refer victims of abuse to resources in the community
- Find out where to go for help.
- Locate a shelter near your community.
- Call the Family Violence Info Line toll-free at 310‑1818 for information on resources available in your community.
5. Follow up or provide ongoing assessment and monitoring
- Be sure to follow up with victims of abuse regularly to re-assess and monitor their situation as their level of risk could change.
- On an emotional level, your encouragement and support can really make a difference to someone living with family violence.
- On a practical level, your insight can help protect people who are being abused.
6. Help raise awareness of family violence in our communities
- The key to preventing family violence is to raise public awareness. There are many things you can do as an individual, an employer, and as a member of your community.
The Protection Against Family Violence Act protects victims of family violence including children and youth.
Children have the right to be safe and loved. They have the right to live in a violence-free home. We all have a responsibility to protect children and ensure they are safe and well cared for so they can reach their full potential.
If you suspect a child is being abused, neglected or exposed to family violence phone your local Child and Family Services Authority, the 24-hour Child Abuse Hotline at 1‑800‑387‑KIDS (5437) or the police.
What to tell children
If children are involved, encourage the parent to keep them safe at all times. To ensure their safety, the parent should talk to them about what is going on.
- Children need to know that even though the adults in their home do not get along, the children are not to blame and the abuse is not their fault.
- Children need to know exactly what they should do in an emergency. If something happens, they need to be prepared. Should they go to a friend or neighbour’s house and wait? Should they call 911? Having a safety plan can make a huge difference in an emergency situation.