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Organizations and agencies combat family violence

Annual conference held in Bowden
Conference in Bowden WEB
The 6th Annual Creating a Vision for Non-Violence Conference was held in Bowden on Nov. 8. File photo

BOWDEN – November is Family Violence Awareness month.

The Town of Bowden hosted the 6th annual Creating a Vision for Non-Violence Conference at the Patterson Community Centre on Nov. 8.

The one-day conference brought professionals together, including Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) and Alberta Health Services (AHS).

“The conference is held (every year) to help reduce and help prevent family violence in Central Alberta,” said Allyssa Bremner, community facilitator and member of the conference planning committee. “That is the basis of the Vision For Non-Violence Central Alberta regional coalition.”

She noted about 16 communities across Central Alberta are members of the coalition and have been working together to help prevent family violence in Central Alberta communities.   

About 100 people from across Central Alberta were expected to attend the annual conference, noted Bremner, adding that next year’s event will be hosted by the Town of Penhold.   

“There’s people from many different communities coming to the conference,” she added.    

The conference covered a range of topics, including self-care, the effects of violence within the Indigenous community, dealing with children’s emotions and improving the experience for LGBTQ2+ people.

All topics were presented by several guest speakers from across the region.   

“This year one of our speakers was Teresa Riling, a town councillor in Sylvan Lake who grew up with family abuse,” said Bremner. ”She’s written a book about it called Just Breathe and she talked about her story.”