November 2, 2015 4:43 pm
Updated: November 2, 2015 10:09 pm

7,849 cases of domestic violence reported to Edmonton police in 2014

WATCH ABOVE: Employers will soon be responsible for acting when they suspect an employee is abusing someone or being abused at home. Fletcher Kent has more on the Alberta government's decision.

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EDMONTON – Edmonton police received 7,849 calls involving domestic abuse in 2014, according to the police service.

The 2015 numbers are still be collected, but there have been several homicides recently where either the partner or ex-partner is charged.

Colleen Sillito-Kruger, a 46-year-old mother of five, was shot to death outside a Fort Saskatchewan home by 54-year-old Paul Jacob before he turned the gun on himself. Global News has confirmed Jacob was Sillito’s ex-boyfriend.

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READ MORE: Murder-suicide in Fort Saskatchewan: Ex-boyfriend shot mom of 5, then himself

Silva Koshwal, 38, is facing charges of second-degree murder and indignity to a human body. Nadine Skow, 38, was found dead from multiple stab wounds in her apartment in the Central McDougall neighbourhood.

READ MORE: Ex-boyfriend charged in ‘gruesome’ slaying previously jailed for sexual assault 

According to the EPS, domestic violence is a conflict between people who are in, or have ever been in, an intimate relationship (dating, common-law, or marriage; whether same-sex or opposite sex). In 2013, there were 7,679 occurrences reported to EPS.

There were nearly 88,000 victims of family violence in Canada in 2013, according to police-reported data. This represented more than one quarter of all violent crimes reported to police.

On Monday, Mayor Don Iveson declared November Family Violence Prevention Month.

“Family violence remains all too common in our society. The City of Edmonton is taking action to change the conversation through preventative activities and raising awareness,” said Iveson. “We are working to create communities where women, men and children are safe in their homes, workplaces and neighbourhoods.”

This year, the city is focusing on informal support systems and how they play an important role in preventing abuse.

“There is tremendous benefit in having a societal response to family violence,” said Margie Marvin, a social worker with the city.

“This means educating, supporting and building capacity within informal networks so that they can be part of the solution.”

Irfan Sabir, Alberta’s minister of human services, said at Monday’s event that the province is assessing the troubling family violence statistics.

In September, the government announced a new investment of $15 million annually to help Alberta shelters. Monday, the province announced an additional $15 million to support Family and Community Safety Program grants.

“This is an important investment because prevention activities can only be effective if they help determine and address the root causes of violence,” said Sabir.

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The minister also said the government is accepting the recommendations of the Family Violence Death Review Committee’s first case review, mandating employers to act when they know of domestic violence.

“Its current report contains recommendations related to preventing family violence in the work place, additional training for security personnel, wider distribution of materials related to family violence and closer work with stakeholders providing services for newcomers to Canada,” explained Sabir.

Family Violence Prevention Month started in 1986 as a local initiative in the town of Hinton, Alta. Town residents launched a family violence education and prevention campaign, inspiring the Alberta Legislature to support family violence prevention as an ongoing initiative.

Now, hundreds of communities and thousands of individuals in Alberta are involved in preventing family violence by providing public education and services.

Click here for a list of events taking place during Family Violence Prevention Month.

© 2015 Shaw Media

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