According to statistics provided by Airdrie RCMP, there have been 565 reported cases of domestic violence reported to police in Airdrie from January to September 2022. This means that on average there have been approximately two cases of domestic violence reported to the police every day since the beginning of 2022.
The RCMP noted that every month in 2022 has seen an increase in reported domestic violence cases, save for April of this year. March 2022 saw the most recorded cases this year; 71.
In comparison to previous years, overall domestic violence occurrences decreased by 12 per cent in 2021 when compared to 2020, and by 18 per cent in 2021 when compared to 2019. The most notable increase in cases was seen in the summer months of 2020.
If the trend that has been seen since the beginning of 2022 continues for the remainder of the year, there may be approximately 211 more cases reported, which would bring the total cases of domestic violence to 776; this number however would still be lower when compared to data to 2021.
When looking at the nearest largest metro area, Calgary, police in Calgary have noted there has been a decrease in reports of domestic violence incidents to them. This trend, according to CPS, was first noted in 2019, which has generally remained consistent.
“We respond to approximately 20,000 calls a year related to domestic violence,” said Acting Staff Sergeant Glenn Andruschuk of the Calgary Police Service Domestic Conflict Unit. “Our statistics and reporting continue to show that, generally speaking, calls for service relating to actual incidents of domestic violence are decreasing, whereas domestic conflict reporting is increasing. This means that Calgarians are reaching out for help and being connected to the necessary supports and resources before a violent act occurs."
According to The Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter, in their last fiscal year (2021 - 2022), the Calgary Women's Emergency 24-Hour Family Violence Helpline received more than 14,840 calls and had a total of 15,000 clients. However, Statistics Canada notes that due to the complex nature of domestic violence cases, this area is often very susceptible to being underreported.
Although Airdrie does not have a 24-hour emergency shelter open specifically for women who are victims of domestic violence, Airdrie P.O.W.E.R has a day shelter open for those seeking support. The day shelter has been open since February 2021.
There are hopes for the future development of an emergency shelter, which would be a residential shelter that would house women and children for 21 days. There are also future initiatives of second-stage housing, which would provide an apartment where women and their children can live for up to a year as they transition. On Monday, November 21, Airdrie P.O.W.E.R is hosting its first-ever "Light The Night" event in support of family violence awareness.
In May 2022, a report published by the Community and Social Services branch of the provincial government cited that there were 18 family violence deaths in the province (15 victims and three perpetrators) in 2020. Between 2011 and 2020 there were 165 deaths in Alberta due to family violence, according to the Committee’s criteria.
"Of the 18 family violence deaths, 15 were victims and three were perpetrators. The 15 victims of family violence deaths were comprised of 11 females and four males. The remaining deaths were the deaths of three male perpetrators. The majority of the 15 victims were women aged 20-39 who were in a relationship with the perpetrator at the time of their death," the report stated.
The report concluded that while the data shows an increase in the number of male family violence-related homicide victims, Alberta’s data continues to demonstrate the gendered nature of family violence against women and girls.
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If you are someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, there are resources available including:
Airdrie P.O.W.E.R - 403-960-0644, text 403-891-9409 or email email@example.com
Calgary Women's Emergency Shelter- 24 Hour Domestic Violence Crisis Line - 403.234.SAFE (7233)
Government of Alberta Family Violence Information Page with Resources and Contacts- Family Violence Information Line: 310-1818 to get help anonymously in more than 170 languages.
Distress Centre Calgary - 403-266-4357 (HELP) - Distress Centre Calgary (DCC) ensures everyone has a place to turn to in a time of crisis by providing 24 hour crisis support, professional counselling and referrals - all at no cost.
Alberta Council of Women's Shelters - Complete listing of all shelters in Alberta.
Alberta Works 24 Hour Line: 1-866-644-5135
Airdrie Urgent Care: 604 Main Street S Phone: 403-912-8500