November is Family Violence Prevention Month and it comes at a time when domestic violence in Calgary has hit its highest level in a decade.
Even police have been surprised by the 36 per cent increase over the five year average for domestic violence calls.
Staff Sgt. Rob Davidson with the Domestic Conflict Unit admits 2016 has been a bad year.
“By the end of September each year, our service responds to 2,055 domestic violence calls for service. These are incidents that involve some form of physical violence. At the end of September of this year we have already surpassed that number and responded to 2,796 domestic violence calls.”
Davidson blames the economy in part.
“If most of us think of a healthy family that is experiencing unemployment and economic troubles and the stress that would bring, that’s pretty substantive. If you’re already in an unhealthy relationship, when you add that layer of unemployment and economic troubles, the financial strain we believe makes them more likely to experience domestic violence.”
Police say it’s believed only 30 per cent of domestic violence incidents are reported.
A conference called Break the Silence is being held in the city Tuesday to bring together stakeholders to address the problem.