Big Hill Haven announced the launch of a new campaign that aims to Support the Supporters”, through a free 5-session online course to provide informal supporters with an understanding of domestic abuse, and how to support someone in need of help. 

“We are excited to start the “Supporting the Supporters” workshops,” says Joy Steppacher, a board  member with Big Hill Haven. “Part of our mission is to lead our community in understanding family  violence and to provide the services that empower women to rebuild their lives.” 

The project’s goal is to engage the informal supporters of those living with or leaving domestic violence.  Informal supporters can include family members, friends, neighbours, and casual acquaintances, that  provide instrumental and emotional assistance. Research recognizes the crucial role that informal  supporters play in preventing domestic violence. Close to 80% of domestic violence survivors first  disclose to informal supporters before seeking help from formal supports like police or shelter. 

Domestic violence is on the rise, with the RCMP reporting an 11.7% increase of domestic violence calls  from March to September during 2020 compared to 2019

. “With domestic violence increasing, it in  important that we find ways to build awareness of domestic violence in Cochrane and area and how to  prevent it. These free workshops will provide the knowledge and tools needed to help someone you  care about break free of the cycle of violence,” Steppacher says. 

The workshops will help informal supporters to recognize and respond to domestic violence and provide  information on what resources are available to help. The workshops will explain what happens when the  RCMP are called and include a presentation from the Centre for Sexuality on “Unpacking Masculinity  and Engaging Men & Boys”.

The free workshops will be provided in May and June and delivered online. 


May 5, 2021 5:30 – 7:00 PM 

May 12, 2021 5:30 – 7:00 PM 

May 19, 2021 5:30 – 7:00 PM 

May 26, 2021 5:30 – 7:00 PM 

June 2, 2021 5:30 – 7:00 PM 

Recognizing Domestic Violence  Presented by: Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter 

Responding to Disclosures of Domestic Violence  Presented by: Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter 

Referring to Local Resources Presented by: Cochrane Family and Community Support Services and  Cochrane Family Resource Centre 

Unpacking Masculinity and Engaging Men & Boys Presented by: Centre for Sexuality 

What Happens once RCMP have been called?  Presented by: Cochrane and Area RCMP and Cochrane and Area Victim Services 

Big Hill Haven is partnering with Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter, Cochrane Family and Community  Support Services, Cochrane Family Resource Centre, the Centre for Sexuality, Cochrane and Area RCMP  and Cochrane and Area Victim Services. 

For more information or to register, visit or email