You may have heard the saying, “a pandemic within a pandemic”. What this means is that while we are facing a public health pandemic, we were already in a crisis, a domestic violence pandemic.
When our communities started shutting down a year ago, a frightening thing happened. Calls to women’s shelters stopped. At first it was confusing. There had been a need, and suddenly there was silence. It didn’t take long for these agencies to realize that with a Shelter In Place order, they were not able to reach out for help. In many cases, the shelters themselves had to close or limit their intake.
It was a perfect storm. Their partners were with them all the time. Perhaps one or both of them lost employment. Children were being schooled at home. There was no way to reach out for help, and the pressure was building. Throughout 2020 support agencies advised that there was already a growing issue of domestic violence within our communities; however, with the introduction of the Covid-19 pandemic, and subsequent lock downs, tensions in households and employment interruption or full-on unemployment was making Domestic Violence its own pandemic.
In response to this crisis, Guelph Wellington Women In Crisis is partnering with Crime Stoppers Guelph Wellington to host a free two-night, online webinar entitled “Domestic Violence: Realities & Resources” on March 9 (Realities) and March 11 (Resources), starting at 7 p.m.
Go to Eventbrite.ca and book your virtual invitation. You will hear from both host agencies, police partners and support counsellors, who will inform guests on what domestic violence looks like, what a victim can expect in the reporting process, why a victim stays in an abusive relationship, and how to report the crime safely and anonymously. This could be the most important webinar you ever sign up for. It will save lives.
Remember, if you have information about a crime and wish to remain anonymous, submit a tip at www.csgw.tips or call 1-800-222-TIPS. Your information is confidential and if your tip leads to an arrest, you receive a cash reward of up to $2,000.