Alberta leads the country in rates of domestic assault, homicide-suicide, stalking and is third in domestic homicide. We have seen two dramatic examples of relationship violence in Edmonton in recent weeks. Cathie Head was the victim of her estranged partner in a murder-suicide that left two innocent bystanders dead. Last Saturday, Rajpinder Sehmbi was found dead in her home. Her husband, an RCMP officer, has been charged with second-degree murder. While these stories tend to be covered sensationally for a few days, what isn’t making the headlines is that these are not isolated incidents; many women in Alberta face relationship violence every day.
If you or someone you know is facing violence in a relationship there are resources available to help you.
For information about where to find a shelter in Alberta, you can go to the website of the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters. If you’re elsewhere in Canada, you can use ShelterNet.ca to find information about where you can go to be safe.
If you have questions about abuse and the law in Alberta, you can find information on several websites from the Legal Resource Centre. VIOLET provides information on the law and abused women and OakNet has information on the law and elder abuse.
The LRC worked in partnership with Changing Together: A Centre for Immigrant Women to create RoseNet, which has information on abuse and the law specifically for immigrant women. The two organizations also created Canadian Law and Modern Day Foreign Brides, (which we’ve talked about before) a website with information for women considering immigrating to Canada through marriage.
The Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton and the Sexual Assault Centre of the University of Alberta provide counseling to survivors of sexual abuse.
If you need someone to talk to you can call the Distress Line at 780-482-HELP (4357). If you need information about housing, finding counseling, finding a job and many more services, you can call The Support Network at 211.