Domestic Violence: The Hidden Crime
January 07, 2022
The rates for domestic violence and severity of violence skyrocketed across the globe during the pandemic, including here in Alberta, which saw numbers jump between 30 – 50% in some areas. In Alberta, the RCMP reported 29,588 domestic violence calls across the province during the 2022/21 fiscal year. In Calgary, the Police Service reported responding to roughly 30,000 domestic violence calls last year, while the Edmonton Police Service reported an increase of 15% more domestic violence occurrences in 2020.
What is domestic violence?
The term “domestic violence” can be interpreted as intimate partner violence or as familial violence. The definition of domestic violence itself, however, is violence in any form against an adult or a child, by another family member. It is generally from someone they have an intimate partner relationship with and is ultimately about asserting power and control over an individual. Domestic violence is generally used to hurt or harm an individual and is generally done by someone who is supposed to be in a relationship of trust and dependency.
Domestic violence is also a sign that other forms of abuse are taking place such as financial, emotional, and spiritual violence.
What are the signs that someone might be in a situation and need assistance? There are a handful of signs to indicate that someone you know may be experiencing domestic violence. It’s important to keep an eye out for things such as:
- Excuse for injuries
- Personality changes, low self-esteem in someone who was always confident
- Constantly checking in with their partner
- Never having money on hand
- Overly worried about pleasing their partner
- Skipping out on work, school, or social outings for no clear reason
- Wearing clothes that don’t fit the season, like long sleeves in summer to cover bruises
Where can victims in rural areas seek assistance?
If you fear you, or someone you know, are in immediate danger call 911.
The Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters is a great resource to those seeking assistance and offers a list of emergency and second-stage shelters across the province that are available to help. If you need to speak with someone at a shelter near you, call the ACWS toll-free, 24/7 hotline at 1-866-331-3933.
Report crime online!
The RCMP are encouraging all Albertans to report eligible crimes online (select property crimes under $5,000). Reporting less serious crimes online helps emergency dispatch and frontline members focus their time on high-priority calls. It provides a convenient way to share photos to the RCMP as well. These reports assist in crime analysis, aid in establishing trends and patterns, and ultimately leads investigators to the chronic offenders. It also assists in making decisions about how and where to deploy resources. Crimes reported online will be taken just as seriously as crime reported in any other way.
Help reduce crime, report online! #ReportSmart
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