Supports for People Experiencing Violence
Note: The following information has been borrowed from Cllr Kristyn Wong-Tam's April 5 COVID-19 Update (FYI, the Cllr's daily updates are a source of both up-to-date information and comfort. You should subscribe to them!)
How can you stay home when home isn't a safe place? One of the unintended consequences of the coronavirus lockdown is that domestic and gender-based violence (including but not limited to sexual violence, intimate partner violence, transphobia, and homophobia) has increased.
If you are aware of anyone experiencing violence or at risk of experiencing violence, or if you are experiencing violence, contact the trusted, confidential community resources listed below. If you are in immediate danger, call 911.
- Toronto Rape Crisis Centre (24/7): 416 597 8808 / www.trccmwar.ca
- Barbara Schlifer Clinic: 416 323 9149 x 234 or fill out the online intake form at www.schliferclinic.com/intake
- Trans Lifeline (24/7): www.translifeline.org
- The Assaulted Women's Helpline (24/7): Toll-Free 1 866 863 0511 / 416-863-0511 for violence against women shelter referral
- LGBT Youth Line (Ontario-based support for LGBTQI2S youth): 1 800 268 9688 / www.youthline.ca
- Support Service for Male Survivors of Sexual Assault (24/7 Ontario-based support line): 1 866 887 0015
- Kids Help Phone (24/7): Mental health service for children and youth text. Call, chat: 1 800 668 6868 / www.kidshelpphone.ca
- Ontario Victim Services
- Legal Aid Ontario (24/7 Domestic Abuse Hotline)
- Ontario Association of Interval & Transition Houses (24/7 Staffed Shelters)
How to help someone who is at risk of or is being harmed:
- Connect: Call one of the community resources listed above to talk about your concerns and make a plan to support your friend.
- Check In: Give them a call to check in on them. Make sure they know they are not alone. Be aware that the conversations could be monitored so be careful of what you share and ask.
- Provide: If you can, offer tangible supports (e.g., offer to drop off food or other essentials if they don’t have access).
What can I do if I’m self isolating with a partner who is abusive?
Steps to Justice offers safety tips and information on emergency legal advice, shelters, services, and helplines.
Resources for the Violence Against Women sector
- Western University's Learning Network has created a centralized hub for resources to support those experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, Gender-Based Violence during the pandemic. It shares the work of organizations across Canada, as well as key international research.
- Luke’s Place Support and Resource Centre for Women and Children has compiled up-to-date information about family law services and supports available across the province at this time for those supporting women fleeing abuse.