AUPE’s Women’s Committee launches initiative and resource website to better support AUPE members impacted by domestic violence.
CW: Please be advised that this article contains content about domestic violence that may be triggering to the reader.
Did you know that 70 per cent of domestic violence victims are impacted at work?
Or that more than four in 10 women and six in 10 Indigenous women in Alberta experience intimate partner violence in their lifetimes?
Yet, Alberta is still the only province in Canada that does not require employers to provide paid domestic violence leave to workers.
AUPE members and all Albertans deserve better than the bare minimum from the government and employers. That’s why AUPE’s Women’s Committee teamed up with the research department to look at ways to support AUPE members impacted by domestic violence.
Sandra Azocar, AUPE Vice-President and Women’s Committee chair, says too often victims of domestic violence suffer in silence, so committee members are making it a priority to find ways to let members know they are not alone.
“A number of our AUPE sisters have tragically lost their lives at the hands of those they shared a domestic relationship with, and we cannot forget that day in and day out many other AUPE members suffer ongoing domestic abuse of all kinds. It is for these women – and all those that are impacted by domestic violence – that we say not one more."
The Women’s Committee has launched a new resource page through aupe.org to share what supports are available to members through AUPE, non-profit organizations and various levels of government programs and services.
“This is just one step in a broader plan to make sure information and resources are more accessible to all AUPE members,” Azocar says. “The Women’s Committee is taking a three-step approach to improve domestic violence leave in Alberta through education in our workplaces, our collective agreements and pushing for government to enshrine those protections in legislation.”
Right now, a worker in Alberta is entitled to up to 10 unpaid days in a calendar year. AUPE has already made some progress at the negotiating table, like for Government of Alberta and Local 050 (AGLC) members – but we know there’s more work to do.
Reports show domestic violence in Alberta is on the rise. Legal Aid Alberta reported the number of emergency protection orders has risen 17 per cent between 2018 and 2022.
Now more than ever, Albertans must get the help they need when they need it – their lives may depend on it.
“A number of our AUPE sisters have tragically lost their lives at the hands of those they shared a domestic relationship with, and we cannot forget that day in and day out many other AUPE members suffer ongoing domestic abuse of all kinds,” Azocar says. “It is for these women – and all those that are impacted by domestic violence – that we say not one more."
Domestic violence in a relationship can build over time, or it can happen in an instant. There are also many different types of domestic violence, including but not limited to physical, psychological and financial abuse.
If you feel unsafe in your home, support is free and available 24/7. Just call 1-866-331-3933 to get in touch with a shelter near you. If you are in immediate danger, call 911.
Visit our new resource page to view supports available to members through AUPE, non-profit organizations and various levels of government programs and services.