The Brenda Strafford Chair in the Prevention of Domestic Violence created Shift: The Project to End Domestic Violence. Shift's goal is to significantly reduce and prevent domestic violence in Alberta. The name Shift represents the spirit of this innovative project designed to create transformational change using a primary prevention approach to stop first-time victimization and perpetration of domestic violence. In short, primary prevention means taking action to build resilience and prevent problems before they occur.
The purpose of Shift’s research is: to contribute to building a primary prevention framework in Alberta; and to enhance the capacity of policy makers, systems leaders, clinicians, service providers and the community at large, to significantly reduce the rates of domestic violence in Alberta. We are committed to making our research accessible and working collaboratively with a diverse range of stakeholders, to inform and influence current and future domestic violence prevention efforts, through the perspective of primary prevention.
(The School of Public Policy, University of Calgary, 2017-05) Crooks, Claire V.; Zwicker, Jennifer; Wells, Lana; Hughes, Ray; Langlois, Amanda; Emery, J.C. Herb
Teen violence in dating and peer relationships has huge costs to society in
numerous areas including health care, social services, the workforce and the
justice system. Physical, psychological, and sexual abuse have long-lasting
ramifications for the perpetrators as well as the victims, and for the families
involved on both sides of that equation. An effective violence prevention
program that is part of a school’s curriculum is beneficial not only for teaching
teenagers what is appropriate behaviour in a relationship, but also for helping
them break the cycle of violence which may have begun at home with their own
maltreatment as children.
The Fourth R program is an efficacious violence prevention program that was
developed in Ontario and has been implemented in schools throughout Canada
and the U.S. Covering relationship dynamics common to dating violence as well
as substance abuse, peer violence and unsafe sex, the program can be adapted
to different cultures and to same-sex relationships. The program, which gets its
name from the traditional 3Rs — reading, ’riting and ’rithmetic — offers schools
the opportunity to provide effective programming for teens to reduce the
likelihood of them using relationship for violence as they move into adulthood.
The federal government has estimated that the societal costs of relationship
violence amount to more than $7 billion. These costs can continue to be incurred
through the legal and health-care systems as the ripple effects of violence play
out over the years, even after a relationship has ended. Other types of violence
are also costly to society and not just in terms of dollars, but in young lives
diverted into criminal activity. Up to 15 per cent of youth who become involved
with the justice system grow into serious adult offenders who develop lengthy
criminal careers. Yet, research shows that if prevention programs such as the
Fourth R can deter just one 14-year-old high-risk juvenile from a life of crime, up
to $5 million can be saved in costs to society.