Heat map shows where domestic violence is happening in Calgary
CALGARY – A non-profit organization that’s working to help victims of domestic violence released a “heat map” Tuesday, which shows where attacks are happening in the city.
HomeFront said the map shows there are “no boundaries” to the issue of domestic violence—with effects felt in every quadrant of the city. The darker colours on the map reflect areas with higher concentrations of domestic violence; the information is based on client data.
Calgary police told Global News that over the last year, there has been a seven per cent increase in assault (32 more cases), and a 30 per cent increase in assault with a weapon (21 more cases). They’ve received an average of two calls of domestic conflict each hour–which translates to 18,000 calls over the last year.
Last week, a 30-year-old Calgary man was charged in the stabbing death of his mother, Selamawit Alem. In late October, a woman was taken to hospital in potentially life-threatening condition after a domestic assault in a northeast home.
An Alberta MLA earned a standing ovation in Question Period Monday after sharing her emotional account of domestic abuse at the hands of her husband during a second reading of Bill 204, a private member’s bill focusing on helping victims of abuse. The disturbing description included beatings, rape, and threats against Maria Fitzpatrick and her daughters at gunpoint.
“We have always known that domestic violence can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, religion, ethnicity or socio-economic status,” HomeFront executive director Maggie MacKillop said in a statement. “Now we have a visual to represent this fact. Those faced with domestic violence are your neighbours, co-workers, friends and family.”
The group has launched a fundraising event called “Cool it, Calgary!” encouraging residents to reduce domestic violence in the city.
Peer Support Services is a local Calgary group that offers programs to those who’ve experienced abuse or are at risk of experiencing abuse. The programs allow survivors of abuse to act as peer supporters in group or one-on-one settings.
Spokesperson Andrea Silverstone said there has been a 40 per cent increase over January to September 2014 in registered clients; the demand has spurred a wait list for new clients.
Silverstone didn’t have statistics, but said anecdotally, she’s seen an increase in female clients from higher-income families.
If you are experiencing or have questions about domestic abuse, please call: 403-234-7233 (SAFE)
If you are experiencing or have questions about sexual abuse and sexual assault, please call: 403-237-5888
Distress Centre (403) 266-HELP (4357)
Family Violence Information Line 310-1818 (Toll Free)
If you are in immediate danger, call 911
With files from Global’s Mia Sosiak
© 2015 Shaw Media