Domestic Abuse And Violence Is A Major Problem! – Were You Aware Of That?

After reading a CBC news article two days ago, and then seeing similar stories on the news, I was a bit upset.

Then I thought about it, then stewed about it, and now, I’m very upset about it.

According to the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters, between April 1, 2021, and March 31, 2022, women’s shelters received more than 65,000 calls seeking support. That is a horrible number of women, often with children, seeking support from an abusive relationship in our province.

Even worse, in my view, is the fact that more than 28,000 women, seniors and children, were turned away from shelters. More than half of the refusals due to the shelters being full, with others being refused for other reasons, including staff shortages or lack of resources.

To be open and upfront, for over fifteen years I have been an active supporter of Women In Need Growing Stronger (WINGS), a 2nd stage shelter in Edmonton, for women escaping family violence and abusive relationships, with their children. I have also supported Jessie’s House, in Morinville.

These are just two of many women’s shelters across the province, most of which are unable to fully assist all of those who come to them for help.

The fact that so many are contacting shelters to escape abusive or violent relationships, to me is an indication that society in general has to do a better job.

From 2012 to 2018, I was employed as a casual cell block guard at a local RCMP detachment. During this time, as part of my work I was exposed to quite a number of cases of domestic abuse or violence.

Since that time, occurrences of this nature have increased, particularly during the COVID pandemic.

As I write this, it came to my mind that, during a period of time after the Fort McMurray fire the detachment I was at had an increase in “domestic” cases, often involving people fleeing the fire devastation which was several hundred kilometres away.

External occurrences like COVID or the Fort McMurray fire will often make a bad domestic situation much worse.

So, what is the answer? How do we solve this situation? How do we make it better?

Unfortunately, we have no simple answer, or in truth, at this time, even a complicated answer.

I do believe there are things that we can do, however.

Firstly, from a lifestyle aspect, we can pay more attention to those around us, friends, coworkers or neighbours. Quite possibly there will be signs of a person being on one side or the other of a domestic abuse situation. If so, there is often some action that we can consider taking.

On the community side, please provide support to a women’s shelter in your area. Make a financial donation. Donate clothing, household items, or contact them and find out whatever they may need. Also, they often are looking for volunteers to assist them in their activities.

Domestic abuse or violence is not an occurrence which is easily reduced or eliminated.

To improve the situation all must be involved. Individuals, community and government.

One thing to me is that we all must speak out more. Too many people are unaware or unconsciously tune it out.

Shout it out. Make them aware.

Give it some thought. What can you do?

Stop And Hear The Music

To preface… I did not write this. Eleven years ago, a friend of mine sent me this most interesting story.  Upon checking further, I was able to find the story behind the story.

This is a true happening, orchestrated by a writer for the Washington Post.  Read it through and then follow the link at the end to find out the rest of the story.


Something to think about . . .


In Washington, DC, at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007, this man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, approximately 2,000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After about 3 minutes, a middle-aged man noticed that there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.


About 4 minutes later:

The violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk. 

At 6 minutes:

A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again. 

At 10 minutes:

A 3-year-old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard, and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time. This action was repeated by several other children, but every parent – without exception – forced their children to move on quickly.

At 45 minutes:

The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

After 1 hour:

He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed and no one applauded. There was no recognition at all.

No one knew this, but the violinist was…

Joshua Bell

One of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before, Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $200 each to sit and listen to him play the same music. This is a true story. Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the D.C. Metro Station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people’s priorities

This experiment raised several questions: 

* In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? 

* If so, do we stop to appreciate it? 

* Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this: 

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made . . .

How many other things are we missing as we rush through life?

Here is the link to the Washington Post article, including a video. 

I hope you took the time to read the article, as it’s quite interesting.

So… the question once again is, how many things are we missing as we rush through life?

Definitely a question worth thinking about at any time, but particularly at this time of year.

Thanks for reading, thanks for your support and feedback.

Be well. Take care of yourself and take care of others.