November 20, 2017 2:31 pm

Give Me Shelter campaign underway to help victims of domestic violence

WATCH ABOVE: Alberta Council of Women's Shelters executive director Jan Reimer discusses the impact domestic violence is continuing to have on women and children.

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Global Edmonton’s annual campaign to gather toys and other items for women and children fleeing domestic violence kicked off on Monday.

The Give Me Shelter campaign collects basic needs like clothing and toiletries and provides them to five women’s shelters: Win HouseWINGSA Safe PlaceLaSalle Residence and Lurana Shelter.

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Edmontonians have been dropping off items at the Global Edmonton studio for the campaign since 2004.

READ MORE: Give Me Shelter campaign offers hope to women and children who escape domestic violence

A Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics report, released earlier this year, shows Alberta has seen a two per cent increase in family violence since 2014. The province also ranks third-highest in rates of intimate partner violence out of all Canadian provinces.

“Every hour of every day, an Alberta woman is going to experience some form of interpersonal violence from an ex-partner or a ex-spouse, that says nothing about current partners and spouses,” Jan Reimer, executive director of Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters (ACWS), said.

READ MORE: Global Edmonton’s 2016 Give Me Shelter campaign delivers the goods

Reimer said there are around 5,000 women who use Alberta women’s shelters annually and “many, many more who can’t” because a lack of capacity.

“We do want people to know though that shelters provide outreach services and those can provide support for women who can’t enter shelter,” Reimer said.

An ACWS assessment shows about 66 per cent of women in Alberta shelters are at severe or extreme risk of being killed, Reimer said.

The Give Me Shelter campaign will run until Dec. 15. It was started by former Global Edmonton news anchor Lynda Steele in 2004.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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