The Brenda Strafford Chair in the Prevention of Domestic Violence created Shift: The Project to End Domestic Violence. Shift's goal is to significantly reduce and prevent domestic violence in Alberta. The name Shift represents the spirit of this innovative project designed to create transformational change using a primary prevention approach to stop first-time victimization and perpetration of domestic violence. In short, primary prevention means taking action to build resilience and prevent problems before they occur.
Lana Wells holds the Chair position in the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary. Her mandate is to develop and support the implementation of research-based primary prevention strategies in partnership with government, community, public, private, non-profit organizations and citizens. "Domestic violence knows no limits – it transcends socio-demographic boundaries," says Wells. "It is complex, pervasive and costly – yet preventable.”
We are inspired from the results of more than two years of investigation, as a number of promising practices and innovative approaches have been identified. In some cases, policy makers, systems and community-based organizations have started to implement changes based on our findings and recommendations. We will continue to engage stakeholders in our exploration of using primary prevention as a tool to end domestic violence in Alberta.
In 2007, The Brenda Strafford Foundation endowed $1.5 million, which the Government of Alberta matched, totalling a $3 million commitment to primary prevention at the Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary.