In Canada, the Alberta Council of Women's Shelters hopes new 2010 data will help the province understand how best to assist women and children fleeing domestic violence. The figures released all come from a single 24-hour period. Thirty-seven women reported they had been threatened by their intimate partner with a gun before seeking help from the shelters.

The figures released Friday 15 April 2011 all come from a single 24-hour period from November 25th, 2010 - the International Day to End Violence Against Women.

"It'll go a long way towards forming public policy and also in furthering the understanding of the different types of violence and the trends that we're seeing in the province of Alberta," said Jan Reimer, the council's provincial coordinator.

Here are some of the statistics amassed in that single day:

  • Forty-two shelters across Alberta helped a total of 816 women and 771 children.
  • Thirty-seven of those women reported they had been threatened by their intimate partner with a gun before seeking help from the shelters.
  • Sixty-two of those women were pregnant.
  • Fifty-one women and 79 children could not be accommodated by shelters.

Angela Rooks, a crisis worker based out of the Lloydminster Interval Home, hopes hard evidence will lead to change.

"It brings a certain level of power to our arguments… When you can articulate in black and white with numbers to inform policy, to inform funding, to me that is a right step in the right direction," she said. "To not have to turn anybody away would mean the world to us."

The Council says it timed the release of its 2010 Data Count with the National Victims of Crime Awareness Week, which runs April 10th-April 16th. For more information, go to: http://www.victimsweek.gc.ca/home-accueil.html