November is Family Violence Prevention Month, which means it is a time to raise awareness and have an open conversation about family and domestic violence.

What is Family Violence? Family violence is any form of abuse or neglect that one may experience from their family member or from someone that they are/were in an intimate relationship with. It can be a single act of violence or a reoccurring act that forms a pattern of abuse. Family violence is a broad term that includes: domestic violence, intimate partner violence, sexual violence, child abuse, neglect and sexual exploitation, child sexual abuse, elder abuse and neglect, and witnessing the abuse of others in the family.

What are some kinds of abuse is considered family violence?

  • Physical: Use of force against someone with the intent to hurt them.
  • Financial: Using money or property to control or exploit a family member.
  • Neglect: Failing to provide basic needs to dependents.
  • Sexual: Forcing sexual activity on a member of the household.
  • Emotional/ Psychological/ Verbal: Words and actions to control, isolate, and/or frighten a family member.

What are the Signs of Family Violence?
There are many indicators that could signal to you that someone you know is experiencing violence at home. For instance, adults may withdraw from family and friends; stop doing activities they used to enjoy; show signs of depression or anxiety; hint about abuse; and have unexplained bruises or other injuries. Children may also show indicators of abuse, which may include being left alone for long periods of time; acting aggressively towards others; withdrawing from others; being fearful of parents’ reactions; and having unexplained bruises or other injuries.

How can you help someone that has or is experiencing abuse?
If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, it is okay to ask for help.

  • If you or someone you know is ever in immediate danger, please call 911.
  • 24-hour Family Violence help line 310-1818
  • FCSS Counselling Services: (587) 370-3728 or counsellingservices@fcss.ca

We can all play a role in continuing to raise awareness throughout the year. For more information, visit https://www.alberta.ca/family-violence-prevention


Submitted by:
Michael Fedunec
Counselling Services Supervisor