While many of us have been able to adjust reasonably well to the new measures resulting from COVID-19, home may not be a safe place for those who are confined with an abusive partner.

Escaping abuse has become even more difficult and it is important to check in with friends and neighbours and let them know they are not alone. Knowing how to help and intervene, can save a life.

 

How you can help:

SERVICES

  • If you become aware that someone is in immediate danger, don’t hesitate to call 911 on their behalf. Police and emergency services are responding to domestic violence calls.
  • If the person is not in immediate danger but feels they are at risk, there are several services that are ready to help.
  • Victim Services of Durham Region provides free crisis response, intervention and prevention services and are available 24/7: 1(888) 579-1520 ext. 3400, (905) 721-4226

Image: Twitter / Assaulted Women’s Hotline

SIGNAL

  • Women’s Shelters are receiving clients and will help to create a safety plan regardless of whether the person is ready to leave or not. ShelterSafe.ca has a Canada-wide directory of contact information for your local services, as does EndingViolenceCanada.org
  • Keep in regular contact and be aware when you check in on the victim, that they may not be able to communicate at that time. Ask simple yes or no questions, beginning with “Is it safe to talk?”, “Do you want me to call 911?” or “Can I call a shelter on your behalf?” When communicating by text, begin with questions that will not arouse suspicion, such as “Message me when you are free to talk” or “Let me know if you need anything”.

Image: Twitter / OAITH

ARTICLE: Are you a victim of violence at home? Here’s how to get help amid COVID-19

Toronto Star / Wendy Gillis & 

  • Check out FamilyCourtAndBeyond.ca for safety planning tips and information about family law and family court
  • Find resources for victims of elder abuse published on canada.ca, and for child abuse at kidshelpphone.ca and crisistextline.ca
  • Access free legal support

    • Legal Aid Ontario: 1-800-668-8258
    • Emergency family law referral line: 1-800-668-8258
    • Victim Support Line toll-free: 1-888-579-2888, or 416-314-2447
  • If you’re able, donate money to programs supporting women and girls
We all need to do our part to keep everyone safe during this challenging time!

For more information or if you have any questions, please contact our Women’s Services Coordinator

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