Women’s shelters support increasing numbers facing risk of being murdered by partner.

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by Morinville News Staff

The Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters announced their stats on Tuesday, highlighting that women entering shelters are facing increasing risk of being murdered by an intimate partner.

Statistics from 2011/12 showed that just over half (54%) of women faced severe or extreme danger. Last year’s statistics show an increase to 64.8 per cent in that category. ACWS say the move into severe and extreme danger categories indicates that, among other factors, more women are being threatened with a gun or subjected to strangulation.

“Any rise in the numbers of women facing severe or extreme danger of being murdered by their intimate partner is extremely worrying,” said Jan Reimer, Executive Director Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters, at a PolicyWise for Children and Families event in Edmonton event Tuesday. “We urgently need to address this issue as a society through more effective gun control as well as ensuring shelters have the resources to support women through the provision of accommodation, safety planning and community outreach. Shelters have faced an increase in crisis calls and have reached maximum caseload capacity in the delivery of outreach supports.”

The organization’s data indicates crisis calls to shelters have jumped 10 per cent since 2015/16 (from 52,562) to 58,117 in 2017/18 while shelters supported 6,408 people through outreach in 2017/18.

Shelters also accommodated 10,390 women, children and seniors in 2017/18, bringing the total number of women, children and seniors accommodated since 2015 to 30,987.

“Shelters are doing remarkable work to transform the lives of those they support and care for,” Reimer said. “Across the province they are supporting women, children and seniors to stay safe, move on from abusive relationships and begin new lives where they can make a valuable contribution to our society.”

Locally, the Jessica Martel Memorial Society is currently constructing a facility in Morinville. The organization received a $100,000 contribution from Pembina Pipelines during their October fundraising gala.

Jessie’s House will be a place where survivors of domestic violence can find refuge. It will be the first of its kind in the Sturgeon Region.

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