The holiday season isn’t always so pleasant, depression rates rise, people are frantically searching for gifts, but now there is a much more concerning trend.
An increasing number of families are suffering from domestic violence. New data from the University of Calgary School of Public Policy and help from Calgary Police Service, shows a concerning rise in domestic violence this time of year, with the worst day being New Years.
Between 2013 and 2017 on New Year’s Day, there have been nearly 50 reports of domestic violence incidents in Calgary. In the week after and before, the number of daily incidents is around 10 to 15.
Annual rates are climbing exponentially as well. In 2013 alone there was 2,795 incidents in Calgary, but based on the current trend its expected there could be more than 5,200 incidents by the end of this year.
“We can’t just go knock on doors. We need people to call us. We are here to help, and we want the community to know that.”
S/Sgt. Paul Wozney of the Calgary Police Service Domestic Conflict Unit believes those numbers are indicative of an epidemic in the community.
Wozney said officers expect to be sent out to more calls during the winter holidays, or long weekends and sporting events when people are drinking more.
The numbers have been climbing steadily since the 2014 recession, and there has been a spike in people seeking counselling services after being out of work for extended periods of time.
“We can’t just go knock on doors. We need people to call us. We are here to help, and we want the community to know that,” said S/Sgt. Wozney
There are a number of sources to contact if you are experiencing domestic issues, but remember there doesn’t need to be an incident of violence to seek help, earlier is always better.
Alberta Works – Support for Albertans Fleeing Abuse 24 hours line – 1-866-644-5135
YWCA of Calgary 24 hour line – 403-266-0707
Kids Help Phone 24 hour line – 1-800-688-6868
The Distress Centre 24 hour crisis line – 403-266-HELP (4357)
Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter 24 hour line – 403-234-SAFE (7233)