Faith Communities

Did you know?

  • Alberta has the highest reported rate of spousal abuse of Canada’s provinces (10 per cent of women and seven per cent of men). In spite of similar prevalence rates, women are more likely than men to experience severe forms of violence and are two and a half times as likely to report being beaten, choked, threatened with a knife or a gun, or sexually assaulted.1
  • In Alberta, exposure to family violence is the second most common form of maltreatment of children and youth (23 per cent of all opened maltreatment cases).2
  • Canadians over the age of 65 years had a self-reported rate of 12 violent incidents per 1,000 between 1999 and 2004. Almost half of violent incidents against seniors (both family and non-family violence) go unreported to police.3

Help Shape Attitudes

Over the years, religion has helped to shape many attitudes about human relations. Faith communities can provide an informed and supportive environment to help both victims of family violence and those who are abusive. This can be accomplished in these ways:

  • Believe the victim’s story.
  • Offer rituals and meditation in consultation with family violence professionals.
  • Understand that victims and their children are in real danger.
  • Help the victim find needed resources.
  • Hold the abuser accountable. Do not accept excuses. Use religious texts that emphasize respect and positive interactions.
  • Urge the abuser to seek appropriate treatment. Help is available.
  • Increase your knowledge of family violence in order to better help your community members.

How To Get Help

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 911.

If you suspect that a child is being abused or neglected by a parent or guardian, report your suspicions immediately. Call the police, your local Child and Family Services Authority or the 24-hour Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-387-KIDS (5437).

For help in your community or for more information, please call the 24-hour Family Violence Info Line toll-free in Alberta at 310-1818 or visit http://familyviolence.alberta.ca/.  Help is available in over 170 languages.

Materials and Resources

Sources

1Statistics Canada. (2006). Measuring violence against women: Statistical trends 2006. (Catalogue no.85-570-XIE). Ottawa: Author.

2MacLaurin, B., Trocmé, N., Fallon, B., McCormack, M., Pitman, L., Forest, N., et al (2005). Alberta incidence study of reported child abuse and neglect, AIS-2003:Major findings. Calgary: University of Calgary.

3Ogrodnik, L. (Ed.). (2006). Family violence in Canada: A statistical profile 2006. (Catalogue no. 85-224-XIE). Ottawa: Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics.

Created:
Modified: 2012-12-14
PID: 15731