North Peace Society for the Prevention of Domestic Violence
In 2008, a committee consisting of representation from various human service organizations throughout the Peace River region was formed. Collectively, the members of the committee identified a service delivery gap in the region, as it related to domestic violence prevention, education and awareness. The result of this service shortfall was that few local resources were available to human service providers, to which to refer clients that were experiencing the effects of domestic violence in their lives. The committee pledged to address this shortfall and ultimately endeavored to create community programming that would assist those who were struggling with domestic violence.
In 2010, the committee members formed the North Peace Society for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and shortly thereafter, were successful in securing recurring funding for community programming through the Alberta Health Services “Safe Communities” grant. With the support of and in consultation with Alberta Health Services, the Society developed the “Stepping Up” psycho-educational program for victims and offenders of domestic violence. The group-based program has been adapted since its original iteration, in order to best suit the unique needs of the regional population, while continuing to meet and exceed the Alberta Health Services program standards.
The Society has been continually delivering the “Stepping Up” program since its inception, and accepts both self-registrations and court-mandated referrals. “Stepping Up” addresses a variety of topics including but not limited to: emotional safety, relationship skills, communication skills and conflict resolution, in a safe, blame free environment that supports personal challenge, growth and change. The program is offered free of charge to all clients.
The Society has also expanded to deliver programming at other venues, including the Peace River Correctional Centre, and at local schools, where healthy relationship education is being delivered with the goal of preventing intimate partner violence. The Society additionally hosts several annual community events to raise public awareness of domestic violence issues.