I’ve been posting on social media and promoting a J&D Realtor initiative, the Safe At Home campaign. We have developed Safe At Home to support the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation in order to raise awareness of domestic violence and urgently needed funds to support local shelters. We have been asked to stay at home, and only leave for items like groceries and medicine, or in the case of essential workers, jobs. Many of us are at home with family or friends, or are able to connect with loved ones over social media or video calls. For some, however, home is anything but safe, forced to remain in close quarters with their abuser.

Social distancing means some women are now in the presence of their abuser 24 hours a day when stress and anxiety are at an all-time high. They have little to no chance to be away from the person harming them and isolation is known to be a tool abusers use to maintain control and hide their actions from others. Abusers are using Covid-19 to control their partners in a myriad of ways: by sharing misinformation to frighten their partner, preventing access to medical attention, threatening to isolate a mother from her children by asserting that she is unwell, and using social/physical distancing as a rationalization for keeping women from connecting with their friends and family – these control tactics have been reported by women during this pandemic.

 

 

Shelters are currently overloaded, both because of increased demand, but also because in an effort to adhere to social/physical distancing measures, their capacity has decreased. Additionally, the support they normally rely on is not available during Covid-19 – physical donations are not being accepted, and many fundraising and awareness events are being cancelled in accordance with Covid-19 protocols. In short, demand is up and supply is down.

What can you do to help?

If you are able, join us in donating at www.JDSafeAtHome.com. 100% of your donation will go directly to women’s shelters across the GTA via the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation. We also encourage you to help raise awareness for this often silent issue. Show us what your “shelter” looks like and how you’re staying safe at home by taking a picture under a roof – get creative! Share it on social media (Facebook or Instagram) and use the hashtag #JDSafeAtHome.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, please go to www.sheltersafe.ca to find the crisis line for a women’s shelter in the community. You can connect with a counselor who can discuss the situation, help you find options and make a safety plan.

 

1 in 3 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.
24 people per minute are victims of physical violence by an intimate partner.
Every 6 days, a women is killed by her intimate partner.
Only 30% of women report their abuse to police.
9 months is the average time a woman and her children will spend in a shelter.
The average cost of a woman and 2 kids living in a shelter is $5400/month!
80% of domestic violence victims disclosed their abuse to family or friends.
5 million children are exposed to abuse yearly.
1 in 7 men are abused by a domestic partner.

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