In The Rear-View Mirror
This year we focused on prevention; evolving the discourse to stop violence before it begins. We believe that through rethinking the norms, attitudes, conceptions, perspectives, ideas, and definitions surrounding domestic and sexual abuse we can eradicate the epidemic of violence in Alberta.
In 2019 Sagesse launched our Real Talk initiative. The initiative recognizes that over 80% of female victims of domestic violence tell a friend or family member about the violence long before they access formal support (if they ever do) and how that person responds is critical to the victims help-seeking. It also acknowledges that most perpetrators fully rely on friends and family, never accessing formal supports. Real Talk isn’t fancy or complicated, it’s just a moment between two people. It is about recognizing the violence, empathizing with the individual, asking the person what they want/need for support, and listening to their requests. In 2019 over 1,300 Albertans actively participated in Real Talk (formerly called Stand By) workshops and another 3,000 received Real Talk information through our website and public information materials. Real Talk is a prevention initiative that helps to disrupt the violence before it escalates.
We also began work on the development of a primary prevention framework to eradicate domestic and sexual violence. Through our work as the backbone for IMPACT, the provincial domestic and sexual violence collective impact initiative, we were able to support our sector to come together to begin work upstream to identify, solve, and uproot the underlying problems and drivers of sexual and domestic violence in society. This work has just begun, and we are excited to be the backbone for the evolving discourse around domestic and sexual violence.