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Domestic violence awareness campaign launches in Calgary

HomeFront and Checker Cabs launch the "Be the Movement" awareness campaign in Calgary.
HomeFront and Checker Cabs launch the "Be the Movement" awareness campaign in Calgary. John Himpe / News Talk 770

Eight hundred Calgary taxis are being transformed into moving billboards to bring awareness to domestic violence issues and the supports available for those looking to get out of abusive relationships.

HomeFront and Checker Cabs launched the “Be the Movement” campaign Monday, which will see the taxi company’s entire fleet of yellow cabs carrying a large decal promoting the services the non-profit agency has to offer.

“It’s the visibility, and the drivers are just champions,” said HomeFront executive director Maggie MacKillop.

“There’s been a 36 per cent increase over the five-year average in domestic violence, and we’re seeing a rise in the complexity of these files.”

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READ MORE: Alberta 3rd highest province for rate of intimate partner violence: report

This is the third and final year of Checker’s partnership with HomeFront.

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“It’s been great to show the community we’re there, we care for everybody,” said Checker Transportation Group president Kurt Enders.

“The people we’ve been able to help, the comments that have come in on our social media, they were able to get help and they knew there was help out there from seeing the decals on our taxis … it’s just stories like that which have been phenomenal.”

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Shayleen Richtik is a former HomeFront client.  She got out of an abusive relationship with help from the organization.

“They gave me my life back,” Richtik said. “They helped me get it back coming out of that abusive relationship. It’s now eleven years later and I’m happily married. So, there is help.”

“It just warms my heart that the image is out there that there is help. All you need to do is reach out, because they’re there to catch you.”

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READ MORE: Domestic violence in Calgary highest since 2004: police

“We just want people to know (they should) reach out,” MacKillop said. “Help is available. HomeFront is that next step after you call the police. We’re there to support you, walk you through it, and hold your hands. That’s why we have a decal with two hands holding.”