For Immediate Release

Province wide collaborative campaign teaches people how to support someone experiencing family violence

November 1, 2022 – Calgary, AB – Family violence is preventable. Simple conversations around the kitchen table are critical in ending family violence. A new campaign, #KeepitREAL launches today to teach people how to support someone who is experiencing domestic violence. Since 80% of survivors look for support from friends and family, growing the skills and confidence as informal supporters is one of the best ways to promote healing and prevention.

The campaign is a collaboration that brings all four Alberta YWCAs – Banff, Calgary, Edmonton, and Lethbridge – together along with several community partners to kick off Family Violence Prevention Month. The #KeepitREALcampaign equips Albertans with simple tools that can help prevent domestic violence.

The campaign uses the acronym REAL (recognize, empathize, ask and listen) from REAL Talk, a free, two-hour virtual workshop, offered by Sagesse. This program is available to everyone who wants to learn more about how to recognize family violence, understand its impact, gain confidence in responding and find local services. #KeepitREAL supplies simple conversation starters for Albertans who feel they may know someone experiencing domestic violence. Phrases like “how can I help?” or “I’m here for you whatever you decide” helps base these conversations in active listening and judgement-free questions.

“These informal supports are critical for everyday Calgarians to be able to recognize the signs of family violence and be a resource those who are experiencing abuse,” says Sue Tomney, YW Calgary CEO. “Having these simple phrases in your back pocket means you have the tools you need to help prevent domestic violence.”

The campaign will include digital, transit, radio, print and social media outreach (#keepitREAL) along with a Public Service Announcement on Telus & Shaw Cable. Individuals can also support family and friends with the Take A Stand initiative by FearIsNotLove, an agency that supports anyone experiencing domestic violence and abuse. Many other services are also available through the various member agencies of the Calgary Domestic Violence Collective, including YW Calgary, which offers programs that help build healthy relationship as well as support for those healing from trauma. Family violence and abuse affects our entire community. We all have a role to play in helping name and preventing it.

Albertans and Calgarians can visit to learn more about how to recognize the signs of family violence, the words and phrases you can use to support survivors, and where to access resources in their area.

For information and interview inquiries, please contact:

Carla Link

Director, Communications & Community Relations, YW Calgary

Phone: 587.228.8663| Email: