Former Calgary Mayor Al Duerr receives "Calgary's Bravest Man" Award



    CALGARY, Nov. 1 /CNW/ - Calgary Counselling Centre honoured former Mayor
Al Duerr for his remarkable work in the fight against domestic abuse at its
2nd annual gala, An Evening with Calgary's Bravest Men this evening. Mr. Duerr
was presented with the first Calgary's Bravest Man Award for his efforts to
bring the issue of abuse onto the political agenda beginning with the creation
of the Mayor's Task Force on Community and Family Violence in April 1990.
    The Calgary's Bravest Man Award recognizes a prominent male community
leader who has made a remarkable contribution to raising awareness of the
issue of domestic abuse in Calgary. Award nominees are selected for their
achievements in advocating for the prevention of domestic abuse by speaking
publicly about the issue and committing to the cause by serving as a volunteer
on domestic abuse prevention or related committees.
    As the 2007 recipient, Duerr has exceeded these criteria through his
exceptional work in creating the Mayor's Task Force. The former Mayor was one
of the first to recognize the need for a proactive community plan to fight the
growing violence trends in Calgary. In 1991 the Task Force completed a report
outlining 66 recommendations to prevent and fight against abuse. The Action
Committee Against Violence (ACAV) - a collaboration of community
organizations, agencies, and service providers - was formed soon after to
implement the recommendations. In 2006 ACAC became the Alliance to End
Violence, serving as a coordinating body designed to meet community needs
through a fast delivery model.
    Al Duerr's dedication to domestic abuse awareness and prevention has led
him to speak in front of schools and organizations about the importance of
community involvement. It is his consistent commitment that makes him a
Bravest Man in the fight against domestic abuse.
    Over 160 of Calgary's corporate leaders attended the 2nd annual An
Evening with Calgary's Bravest Men. The Centre's Evening kicks off November,
Family Violence Prevention Month, inspiring Calgary's bravest and most
influential men, and their equally visionary partners, to stand up and
contribute their voices to the dialogue on domestic abuse.
    "It is time to appeal to the men in our lives to support and lead the
cause," says Robbie Babins-Wagner, Calgary Counselling Centre CEO. "This
year's Bravest Man Award emphasizes the importance of male voices openly
recognizing and talking about domestic abuse, and calls our leaders to action
on a local level."
    Calgary Counselling Centre will begin accepting public nominations for
the 2008 Calgary's Bravest Man Award in the new year.

    About Calgary Counselling Centre:

    Calgary Counselling Centre is a registered charitable organization, and
the leading research and knowledge-based counselling facility in Canada. Since
1962, the Centre has been committed to providing compassionate, professional
and affordable counselling services that help build better lives for
Calgarians through positive outcomes. Offering service in over 15 languages,
the Centre is also a recognized leader in the treatment of family violence,
depression, self esteem and eating disorders. Through its ongoing research and
education programs, Calgary Counselling Centre strives to meet the changing
needs of our community. The Centre's fee structure is based on income - no one
is turned away for an inability to pay.

    About Mayor's Task Force on Community and Family Violence

    Former Calgary Mayor Al Duerr is recognized as the 2007 Calgary's Bravest
Man award recipient for moving domestic abuse onto his political agenda, and
by doing so placing it on the both the municipal and provincial radar screen.
In 1990 Mayor Al Duerr established an action-oriented task force called the
Mayor's Task Force on Community and Family Violence, headed by former MLA Ron
Ghitter to address forms of violence in Calgary.
    The Task Force was created specifically to investigate all forms of
violence including family violence, street and gang violence, cultural and
community violence, and violence against children and the elderly.
    After several months of public hearings, the task force issued 66
recommendations for a proactive action plan within the community to address
violence. All costs incurred were generated from the private sector. After
only a year, 25 of the 66 recommendations were accomplished.
    Al Duerr's work in creating the Task Force ultimately laid down the
groundwork for a cooperative coalition of organizations dedicated to
preventing forms of violence. In December 1991, a new committee, Action
Committee Against Violence, was established by City Council to implement task
force recommendations. ACAV is a coordinating body of agencies, organizations
and service providers dedicated to providing a fast and efficient community
response system towards domestic abuse. In 2006 ACAC joined a strategic merge
of independent organizations to become the Alliance to End Violence, a
standing committee acting as a community representative dedicated to providing
public education on violence and identifying existing gaps in violence
response services.
    Due to a larger public awareness of violence, the number of assaults
reported has steadily increased, enabling Calgary Police and other response
services to take immediate action. As a result, between 1998 and 2006, Calgary
Police Services have seen a 9% decrease in domestic offences in the city. Al
Duerr's persistence and dedication to the cause back in 1990 has caused a
ripple effect throughout the community, opening the door to new and innovative
approaches to violence prevention, enabling Calgary to operate effective
committees and programs to raise awareness for forms of abuse and prevention
initiatives and to be a leader in prevention and treatment in Canada.

    Photo will be available on the CNW network at 9:30pm.

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/





For further information:

For further information: and interviews, please contact: Stephanie
Parsons, Marketing/Communications Assistant, Calgary Counselling Centre, (p)
(403) 691-5904, or (c) (403) 542-0174, or (e)
stephanie.parsons@calgarycounselling.com; or visit the Calgary Counselling
Centre website at http://www.calgarycounselling.com

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