Family violence is an all-too-common issue that impacts countless individuals and families around the world. In Calgary, law enforcement agencies and support organizations are tirelessly working to address this pervasive problem. One of the key tools available for victims of family violence is the protection order, which serves as a legal mechanism to protect them from further harm. This article aims to shed light on the issue of family violence in Calgary and how protection orders can provide much-needed support to those affected.
Family Violence in Calgary: A Growing Concern
Family violence includes physical, sexual, emotional, and financial abuse, as well as neglect, between family members. In Calgary, the prevalence of family violence incidents has been on the rise, with reports increasing year after year. According to the Calgary Police Service, family violence calls for service increased by 16% in 2021 compared to 2020. This alarming trend underlines the urgent need for awareness and intervention.
Support Organizations and Resources in Calgary
Victims of family violence in Calgary have access to numerous support organizations and resources. Some of the key players in this field include:
- Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter (CWES): Provides emergency shelter, counseling, and support services to women and children escaping family violence.
- HomeFront Calgary: A non-profit organization that works alongside the justice system to provide support and intervention for families impacted by domestic violence.
- YWCA Calgary: Offers emergency shelter, counseling, and transitional housing for women and children fleeing abusive situations.
- Calgary Counselling Centre: Provides professional counseling services for individuals, couples, and families dealing with the effects of family violence.
Protection Orders: A Crucial Line of Defense
Protection orders, also known as restraining orders, are legally binding court orders that provide immediate protection for victims of family violence. They can restrict the perpetrator’s contact with the victim and their children and prevent them from coming within a specified distance of the victim’s home, workplace, or children’s school.
In Calgary, there are two primary types of protection orders:
- Emergency Protection Orders (EPO): These are short-term orders issued by a judge or justice of the peace when there is an immediate risk of family violence. An EPO can be granted without the abuser being present and typically lasts for a maximum of ten days.
- Queen’s Bench Protection Orders (QBPO): For longer-term protection, a victim can apply for a QBPO, which is granted by a judge of the Court of Queen’s Bench. These orders can last for a specified duration or indefinitely, depending on the judge’s discretion.
Family violence is a pressing issue in Calgary that requires the concerted efforts of law enforcement, support organizations, and the community at large. Protection orders play a critical role in safeguarding victims and their families from further harm. If you or someone you know is experiencing family violence, it is essential to seek help immediately. Reach out to local support organizations, law enforcement agencies, or legal professionals to ensure safety and protection for yourself and your loved ones.