A recent activity report by RCMP in Hanna suggested the rate of domestic abuse in the town this year is three times the national average, but they're not alone.
 
"I had 27 domestic violence cases (in Hanna); usually we only get maybe about seven or eight," confirmed Judy Nelson, Program Manager for the Big Country Anti-Violence Association. "In Drumheller we had 58 domestic violence cases and Oyen had 18."
 
All of those numbers are up sharply from 2015 and previous years and Nelson says it seems to be something of a trend right across Alberta.
 
"I was just at a provincial meeting in Red Deer and everybody was taking about their domestic violence cases going through the roof," she confided. "Most of it's because of the economy."
 
Nelson expects things to be even busier over the Christmas Holidays, especially when people use alcohol to cope with their problems.
 
"Some of them have domestic violence in their relationship all the time, but I would say probably three quarters of what we're seeing right now is really good families that are just being hit really hard."
 
The most important thing to remember, said Nelson, is that there is lots of help out there, including her organization. You can reach the Big Country Anti-Violence Association by clicking on this link.
 

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