The information below was taken from Direct Energy's EnergyofMoms campaign website which ran September 2019 to April 2020.
Now, experts warn that isolation and the stress of an economic downturn can worsen abusive relationships and expose many to an increased risk of violence.
Every Albertan has a role to play in ending domestic violence, especially at this time. That's why Direct Energy and Direct Energy Regulated Services have partnered with Sagesse to promote its REAL Talk initiative.
Our goal is to help Sagesse bring the REAL Talk program to as many Albertans as possible to lessen the stigma surrounding domestic violence. In addition, the program is helping to break the cycle of domestic violence by providing the tools to have safe conversations.
The REAL Talk program focuses on:
R ecognizing domestic violence
E mpathizing with the person impacted by the violence
A sking them what they need
L istening without judgment
Sagesse has adapted its REAL Talk workshops to be available online. These webinars are open to anyone interested in learning how to recognize domestic violence, understand its impact, and develop comfort in responding to domestic violence disclosures. This includes providing appropriate support and referral services.
This is important because 80% of people experiencing domestic violence tell someone in their social networks first. Statistics show that a positive conversation is likely to lead that person to get help.
Spike in Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is at an epidemic level. Unfortunately, isolation and factors like changes in routine, increased tension, or financial pressure can all contribute to a higher risk of domestic violence.
Agencies and shelters in Alberta expect that the stress associated with the pandemic, combined with Alberta's economic climate, will lead to increased rates of domestic violence across the province for an extended time.
This is a daunting fact, even without the limitations of social distancing. But, no matter the circumstances, help is still available to those in need. Thanks to Sagesse and other vital organizations in Alberta, resources are available to anyone experiencing domestic violence or close to someone who might be.
Direct Energy's Involvement
Direct Energy is committed to supporting moms, women, and families across the province. Chances are, we all know someone impacted by domestic violence. But, working to end it requires working together.
Direct Energy has partnered with Sagesse on several programs, including the Safer Spaces Utility Pilot Program and now REAL Talk.
The Safer Spaces Utility Pilot Program was developed with Sagesse and the Government of Alberta. This program helps to ensure that Albertans living in a domestic violence situation have the support to transition their utilities safely and with care. People experiencing domestic violence can confidentially and safely connect with our Customer Experience Team. These caring agents received REAL Talk training to provide reassurance and support, and they are all located in Alberta.
Our agents help survivors navigate what can be a complicated industry, protecting their identity while getting them set up for our service in their new home. We also eliminate the deposit, waive any set-up, connection, or reconnection fee, and ensure that survivors can't be disconnected from utilities for at least a year, providing flexible payment plans to help alleviate any financial burden.
Finally, because we know how hard it can be to ask for help, we proactively check in on our Safer Spaces accounts.
If you, your friends, family, or workplace are interested in receiving REAL Talk training, please contact Sagesse to learn more.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, contact:
403-234-7337 ext. 100
Domestic Abuse Resource Hub
For 24 Hour Support:
CONNECT Family & Sexual Abuse Network
Domestic Violence: 1-866- 606-7233
Sexual Violence: 1-877- 237-5888