Over the past year during the COVID-19 pandemic, police services as well as the Leeds and Grenville Victim Services have reported an increase in calls related to domestic violence. Intimate partner abuse, or domestic violence involves the use of physical, psychological or sexual force in an intimate relationship. An intimate relationship is one between partners and includes current and former dating partners, common-law partners and married spouses.
Rates of violence were high in Canada prior to the pandemic, and now women and girls (predominately) may face a heightened risk of partner-related violence and abuse while isolated at home.
Domestic violence is a serious crime. Police have a responsibility to assist with preventing violence. A person committing these acts can be arrested, charged, convicted and jailed.
It may be difficult for women in abusive relationships to reach out for help, and the pandemic has made it harder. While most community supports continue to operate during COVID-19, social isolation creates new barriers to access services for those experiencing abuse or violence.
“Everyone has the right to safe and violent-free home. Please know that help is available to those who may be facing violence in the home,” said John Barclay, Chair of the North Grenville Police Services Board.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1.
Services are available to support victims and survivors of sexual assault through counselling, peer support, advocacy and 24-hour crisis support by phone. The province is also providing up to four hours of free legal advice to survivors of sexual assault.
- Victim Services of Leeds & Grenville 1-800-939-7682 | http://vslg.ca
- Assaulted Women’s Helpline 1-866-863-0511 Text #SAFE (#7233) awhl.org
- Leeds & Grenville Interval House 1-800-267-4409 http://lgih.ca
- Assault Response & Care Centre 1-800-567-7415 www.arc-c.ca/
- Children’s Mental Health of Leeds and Grenville 1-800-809-2494 www.cmhlg.ca/
- Legal Aid Ontario 1-800-668-8258 www.legalaid.on.ca/