Leaders from across Alberta convened at Edmonton’s City Hall to hear Lana Wells speak about the value of informal networks, and how to support these networks to effectively respond to the needs of individuals impacted by family violence.
While formal services and supports are critical, research shows that informal networks – including friends and family – play a pivotal role in preventing domestic violence. “The fact is, interventions happen at the kitchen table, over a cup of coffee,” says Lana Wells, “and we have been essentially ignoring this as a prevention strategy.”
In 2014, Shift: The Project to End Domestic Violence published an issue brief that challenges the long-standing belief that family violence is a private matter between two people. The paper explores the perceived reluctance of friends and family to intervene, and suggests that agencies develop customized education programs and supports geared toward friends and families.
“Family Violence Prevention Month gives us the platform to share ideas that go beyond government and community-based interventions,” says Lana Wells. “We encourage everyone to learn how they can effectively support someone they know who may be experiencing violence.”
Follow the link to download the Supporting the Supporters issue brief.