Domestic violence: useful websites for Alberta.

As librarians, we are often requested to select and evaluate information resources. In this short reference article, we would like to recommend a few reliable websites that offer high quality information on domestic violence. We have selected sites from reputable sources that present current information, as well as offer links to further help and research.

The Internet is often the starting point to information seeking, and websites dedicated to domestic violence are many and varied. Some serve as quick connectors to social and crisis resources in emergency times, others offer a comprehensive review of the problem and its solutions, and several focus on a particular aspect or population. We have divided our selections into comprehensive sites, connecting sites, research sites and specific issue sites.

Comprehensive sites

These pages include substantial information as well as links. They address many of the information needs of domestic violence victims and survivors, including information about moving out (abuse information, shelter information, police information, money matters); issues after moving out (benefits, concerns about children, relocation, jobs, education); and legal concerns (child custody, court procedures, criminal procedures).

The Alberta Human Services Family Violence pages offer succinct but comprehensive information. The Family Law Violence Info Line (with information in 170 languages) and the Child Abuse Hotline are displayed on the front page. Links on the left hand margin direct the user to different topics for further information. Under "Where to go for help" there are links to information about financial support for Albertans fleeing abuse, services for aboriginal people, and sexual assault centres. Other links on the main menu offer information on shelters, children, rights, and supports. The "Materials and Resources" section is an extensive collection of brochures and pamphlets, some of which are translated into eight different languages.

The Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta (CPLEA), formerly the Legal Resource Centre in Edmonton, in cooperation with the Alberta Council of Women Centres, put together a comprehensive website, Violet: Law and Abused Women which includes commentary and links. Under "Just the Facts" there is information about abuse, getting out, legal implications, involving the police, and using the law to keep the abuser away. A section on "Going to court" guides the victim through issues...

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