2019 Data Release was designed to face the facts about domestic violence not only in Grande Prairie, but across the province. The 2019 data release includes aggregate statistics on services provided by shelters and stories that illustrate the positive impact of shelters on the lives of families as well as the context in which shelters are operating. We want to highlight the scale of Alberta’s ongoing domestic violence epidemic while showing how shelters transform lives.

The 39 members of Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters (ACWS) collect data on every woman they serve so we can tell women’s stories.  Odyssey House was featured on page 6 of the document highlighting the option for women and children in our area who are facing violence. It touches on access to affordable housing or the lack there of, and the barrier this is creating to women and children living a violence free life. Our section titled “Women face tough choices” puts  focal point on Odyssey House women potentially staying longer because they have limited options about
where to go after they leave the shelter. The article looks at the time we have  invested into public education in these past couple years. Having conversations with businesspeople in our community as well as with young people, their parents and teachers are all crucial to raise consciousness about the issue of domestic and sexual abuse. People are often surprised at how many services our shelter offers.

Shelters also employ the Danger Assessment tool to determine a woman’s risk of being killed by her intimate partner. The data is alarming. Today, nearly 2/3 of women entering shelter are at a severe or extreme risk of being killed. This is higher than at any other time in the past seven years. The data paints a clear picture of domestic violence in Alberta. This is not one woman’s problem, or just one family’s. It is everyone’s problem, and we can solve it together.

AWCS Data Release 2019: Odyssey House