The Wheatland Crisis Society (WCS), in partnership with the Alberta Council of Women's Shelters (ACWS), is participating in the "Love a Shelter" Domestic Violence Awareness Campaign. This campaign has schools across Alberta participating in ways to raise awareness and also support the WCS for Valentine's Day.

“Valentine’s Day is not just about heart-shaped boxes and the idea of ‘perfect relationships.’ It’s also about acknowledging the women who are suffering behind closed doors,” said ACWS Executive Director Jan Reimer.

This campaign will be kicking off at Crowther Memorial Junior High School, where students have been invited to write a Valentine's Day letter of support for the WCS. WCS Business Development/ Communications Specialist Natasha Fyfe explained this is one of several ways the WCS gets involved with schools, and says raising awareness at a young age is important to address and hopefully prevent domestic violence.

"Lots of kids go through domestic violence, they witness domestic violence and they need to know the signs and they need to know the awareness and why it's important to take care of those who have been victims of domestic violence," she said.

"It's always great to have that kind of education and that kind of awareness just in case you need to help somebody out."

Raising awareness and having the difficult conversations about domestic violence with students can play a key role in preventing abusive situations going forward. Fyfe added it can also help break the cycle in other forms of violence like bullying.

While "Love a Shelter" kicked off at Crowther Memorial, everybody in the community is invited to participate. If you're interested in sending a Valentine card of support you can send it to the mailing address of PO BOX 2162, Strathmore Alberta T1P 1K2.

If you're interested in supporting the WCS in ways outside of a Valentine, you can reach out to them through their website here.

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