Even though most people are safer when they stay home to protect themselves from COVID-19, staying home isn’t safe for everyone. Domestic and gendered violence has increased as much as 30% in Canada since mid-March when Canadians advised to only leave their homes for essential activities.
Shelters and other organizations that assist victims of domestic and gender-based violence have seen dramatic increases in the need for their services. Recognizing that need, Sisters United the Society's Indigenous Relations Committee brought forward a request for the union to support these vital organizations. Sisters United chair Tracy Miller and Executive Vice President Chris Graham worked together and identified 19 shelters serving women and children across Ontario, as well as those with an emphasis on supporting Indigenous women and children. The Society is donating $2,000 to each of the shelters for a total of $38,000.
These donations are in addition to $50,000 contributed last month to food banks and other groups helping vulnerable communities during the pandemic. All donations were made through the Society’s charitable arm, which is financed through proceeds of the union’s investments.
If you are in a position to contribute, the Society encourages you to join in donating to the following shelters:
- Herizon House (Ajax/Pickering)
- Women & Children's Shelter of Barrie
- Three Oaks Foundation (Bellville)
- Bethesda House (Bowmanville/Clarington)
- Interval House of Hamilton
- Women's House (Kincardine)
- Women's Place of South Niagara
- Nippising Transition House
- Minwaashin Lodge (Ottawa)
- The Women's Centre Grey Bruce
- Timmins & Area Women in Crisis
- Faye Peterson House (Thunder Bay)
- YWCA Toronto
- Hiatus House (Windsor)
- Domestic Abuse Services Oxford
- Atlohsa Family Healing Services (London)
- ENAGB Youth Agency (Toronto)
- Gathering of Rivers Community Care (Thunder Bay)
- Omushkegiskwew House Family – Moosonee Family Resource Centre
Are you or someone you know a victim of domestic violence?
If you are experiencing domestic violence or want to help someone who is, there are valuable resources you can rely on to help you or someone you care about to safety.
- Call 9-1-1 if you are in immediate danger.
- Consult a shelter or other local service provider, whether or not you plan to go to that shelter immediately. To find a shelter near you go to sheltersafe.ca.
- For specialized advice and support, including how to make an escape plan, contact the Assaulted Women’s Help Line 24/7 at 1-866- 863-0511.
- Access free legal advice from Legal Aid Ontario at 1-800-668-8258. There is no financial eligibility test for legal advice related to domestic violence.