Domestic violence in isolation: A message from Neelam Sahota, CEO, DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society
While social distancing by staying at home is critical right now to stop the spread of COVID-19, we can’t forget that for some women, “home” is not a safe place.
This week (April 12–18, 2020) is Prevention of Violence Against Women Week and it’s important that we support women who are experiencing domestic violence and are isolated at home with their abusers. Self-isolation because of COVID-19 will make it harder for women who are trying to leave unsafe situations.
Sadly, there is data to show that domestic violence is even escalating during this time, in BC, Canada and in countries all over the world. Newly released data from Statistics Canada reveals that 10 per cent of women are very or extremely concerned about the possibility of violence in their homes, as physical distancing measures continue.
The federal government has stepped up to provide contingency funding to help support organizations tackling gender-based violence that are the hardest hit by COVID-19 pandemic. To women experiencing domestic violence, know that there is help available. Speak to someone you trust and seek help. Our Counselling Services team at DIVERSEcity can offer support and guidance, and refer you to additional community resources to help keep you safe. You are not alone in this. Please reach out.
— Neelam Sahota, Chief Executive Officer, DIVERSEcity
DIVERSEcity Counselling Services is here to help
Are you experiencing domestic violence? Need support but don’t know where to turn? DIVERSEcity’s Counselling Services are here to help you get the support you need, even during this time of physical distancing. Our counsellors are reaching out to clients even more frequently now due to increased risks as a result of self-isolation at home.
Connect with a counsellor by calling 604-547-1202 or email email@example.com.
- Our Stopping the Violence program provides domestic violence counselling in Punjabi, Hindi and Mandarin.
- Our PEACE program, for children/youth who have witnessed domestic violence in their home, is available in Punjabi, Hindi, Mandarin and Farsi.
- Our Family Counselling services can offer support around family violence and is offered in Punjabi, Hindi, Mandarin, Cantonese and Spanish.
Other Resources and Helplines for Domestic Violence Support
If you’re in immediate danger or seriously injured, call 9-1-1.
VictimLinkBC is a toll-free, confidential, multilingual telephone service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 1-800-563-0808 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Atira Women’s Resource Society COVID-19 call-in line: 604-800-8881
Battered Women’s Support Services: call 604-687-1867, text 604-652-1867 or email email@example.com
Surrey Women’s Centre Support Worker: 604-583-1295
Fraser Health Crisis Line: 604-951-8855
Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter: 604-872-8212
Women Against Violence Against Women: 604-255-6344
BC211 for referrals to other resources: 2-1-1