“Family violence is devastating and happens every day. During Family Violence Prevention Month, I want to remind Albertans of what we can all do to help those experiencing family violence by knowing where to go to find help.

“This is not a situation to be suffered in silence – or suffered at all. We must realize it is in every community and can be experienced by anyone, young or old, regardless of gender, orientation or ethnic background.

“The daily toll of domestic violence escalated during the pandemic. Episodes of abuse increase in frequency and severity as families experience the stress of job loss and/or isolation. While women and children are often the targets, abuse can happen to anyone. People may be caught between their abuser and the effects of COVID-19, such as fewer interactions with friends, colleagues and other family members.

“While it may feel difficult or impossible to leave an abuser, particularly without financial security or support networks, reaching out to a local shelter by phone or text can help. Many shelters offer services and outreach programs, including help with planning to leave safely.

“Now, more than ever, I encourage all Albertans to help put an end to family violence and show those in need that help is available. If you need to speak to someone, the Family Violence Info Line at 310-1818 is available in more than 170 languages to support Albertans at any time of the day.

“This year’s theme, #WhereToTurn, encourages you to learn what resources are available in your community to support those affected by family violence. Join the conversation and help make a difference.”