New YWCA program aims to prevent violence in custody battles

CALGARY, June 9, 2011 /CNW/ - As a fatality inquiry looking into the murder-suicide of a Drumheller man and his three-year-old son makes headlines this week, the YWCA of Calgary is launching a new program that aims to prevent future incidences of domestic violence in bitter custody battles.

The intervention program — which will provide a blend of specialized counselling for parents and children, trauma therapy for children exposed to domestic violence, and legal representation — addresses the risk of domestic violence after marital separation.

It's a story that's becoming all too common, says Bill Eddy, who will facilitate a two-day workshop from June 9-10 for counsellors and legal professionals on managing high-conflict divorce situations.

"You have angry parents out there who are only thinking about how to hurt each other, and the tragedy is that, sometimes, a parent will become abusive toward the children, whether physically or emotionally," says Eddy, who has 30-plus years of experience as a social worker, lawyer and mediator.

The workshop will train participants in his method of dealing with high-conflict personalities, which includes teaching parents skills in flexible thinking, managing emotions and moderating behaviours. Afterwards, the parents are required to teach the same skills to their children.

"It's a really structured approach to dealing with high-conflict parents," he adds. "They don't need to be told what not to do; instead, they need to be taught what to do, with a lot of repetition and support.

"The program is designed to help contain conflict, to maintain peace in the family and, ultimately, to protect children."

Made possible through a $750,000 grant from the Alberta government, the intervention program is the first of its kind in Canada, according to Eddy: "Calgary and Medicine Hat are the first cities to get grants to implement our method, and we will be doing formal research on the results."


WHAT:      YWCA New Ways for Families workshop with Bill Eddy, focusing on how to deal with high-conflict divorce situations 
WHERE:    Emerald Ballroom, Executive Royal Inn, 2828 23rd Street NE, Calgary, AB 
WHEN:     Thursday, June 9 - Friday, June 10
  Bill Eddy is available for interviews Thursday, June 9 from noon until 1 p.m.

YWCA of Calgary 
Dating back to 1910, the YWCA of Calgary is one of the oldest and most established social service organizations in Calgary.  Women experiencing domestic violence, homelessness and poverty are at the core of our work.  Although other agencies focus on violence and abuse against women, the YWCA also focuses on moving women from a position of vulnerability to one of health and wellness, by offering child care, language and skills training, transitional housing and outreach supports. 
For more information, visit the YWCA of Calgary's website:

Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq. 
With 30-years of experience as a social worker, lawyer and mediator, Bill Eddy is co-founder of the High Conflict Institute, which provides education and resources to anyone dealing with high-conflict people and situations. In addition to facilitating workshops on his New Ways for Families approach, Eddy is also author of Splitting: Protecting Yourself while Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Silvana Saccomani, MA  Associate Director, Communications   YWCA of Calgary  320 5th Avenue SE Calgary AB T2G 0E5  Tel: 403.705.5779 | Fax: 403.263.4681 | Cell: 403.874.5266  

The W in the YWCA has been helping women in Calgary for 100 years. Your donation will help more. Call (403) 294.7343 or visit 




SOURCE YWCA of Calgary

For further information:

or to arrange an interview, please contact: Silvana Saccomani, YWCA of Calgary: 403.705.5779 or cell 403.874.5266

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YWCA of Calgary

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