Gender based violence takes place in ways that are unique & disproportionately high in rural communities, but the needs of families often go unmet. Families experiencing domestic violence & abuse often face complex challenges in rural communities. According to the Learning Network, rates of police reported intimate partner violence experienced by rural women in Canada are 75% higher than those for urban women. Rates of police-reported violent crime are 56% higher for rural women than the national rate. Rowan House Society serves the second largest geographic area in the province, in the areas: Foothills County, Vulcan County & MD Willow Creek. They provide crisis intervention, long-term support & preventative education to break the cycle of domestic abuse in communities. In doing so, Rowan House works to fulfill the vision that all thrive in safe and empowering relationships.

The presentation will focus on Family Violence Prevention Month in November, with an overview of six core programs: Support Line, Emergency Shelter, Children’s Program, Preventative Education Program, Outreach Program & Court Support Program. Additionally, the speakers will discuss the pilot project, Safe at Home, an alternative to Women’s Emergency Shelters in rural Southern Alberta. The main goal of the Safe at Home project was to explore innovative approaches to address domestic violence and abuse, specifically to keep affected families in their homes and communities. The individual using violence and abuse is supported to make changes and develop healthier relationship skills through various options.

Speakers: Linette Soldan Executive Director of Rowan House and Bonnie Millward Manager of Client Programs

Linette has been in the Social Services sector for over 25 years. Throughout her career, she has supported individuals & their families with counselling, safety & case planning, parenting strategies & navigation of community resources that will build family’s formal & informal supports. Linette believes that supporting clients to increase their sense of safety, resiliency, & dignity is key through the collaboration of strong partnerships. Strong partnerships assist in seamless client delivery & improve access to services for those experiencing domestic violence & abuse.

Throughout her 25+ year career, Bonnie has served women, children, youth and families in many ways. Bonnie’s passion for her work has guided her to develop & deliver a multitude of programming aimed at enhancing the collective wellbeing of the community, increasing capacity supporting social development & resiliency, and building bridges of understanding. Bonnie respects the importance & value of collaborative relationships that support rural health, working alongside community partners to provide a wraparound of supports & service with a strong focus on education, relationships and safety.

Date/time: Thursday November 23, 2023. Presentation begins at 12 & concludes at 1 p.m.

Cost: Free, but donations are gratefully accepted

Location: Lethbridge Senior Citizens Organization (LSCO) Dining Room, 500-11 Street S, Lethbridge, AB

Lunch & Refreshments: The Atrium Dining Room will be available by 11:15 am. Please arrive early before the start of the Presentation to patronize the LSCO cafeteria and enjoy their excellent variety of good value food options. For further info visit the SACPA website:

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