Gender-based Violence and COVID-19: Before, During, and Your Role in the Reset

In 2017, 79 per cent of reported victims of intimate partner violence in Canada were women; a stark reminder of how gender-based violence has been gravely affecting the public health system long before COVID-19. Gender-based violence knows no bounds: it is endemic.

Join Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS) team members in an online discussion about what we know about gender-based violence before COVID-19, how these public health issues are currently intertwined, and learnings we will take with us after the pandemic.

We need to envision a tomorrow that eliminates gender-based violence.

We need to take action in an individual, communal, and systemic manner.

Your role in the reset will soon reveal itself: are you ready to join us?

This discussion will be happening live on Wednesday, April 22 from 11 am to noon (PST).

Space will be limited: We’d like to have as many of you join us, so please register as soon as possible.

Panelists:

Summer-Rain (she/her), Indigenous Women’s Program Manager, and Legal Advocate

Rosa Elena Arteaga (she/her), Manager of Direct Services and Clinical Practice

Angela Marie MacDougall (she/her), Executive Director

Questions:

If you have questions you’d like the panel to address during the live discussion, or questions about the event in general, please email communityengagement@bwss.org.

Sharing anecdotes like this one is a sobering reminder of the grave danger women face. Many victims come from dark places coated in fear, hopelessness, anger, and many times, isolation. We want to share this with you because we want you to know that we take each call seriously, and we carefully support each caller to a path of safety.

Since we’ve increased our crisis line operational hours to 24/7, and we have been getting calls from women, children, victims’ neighbours, family members, and coworkers. Most callers are from Metro Vancouver (54%), while the other callers are from BC (20%), rest of Canada (5%), Ontario (5%), and international numbers (5%). The calls are complex, and our staff are trained and prepared to help as compassionately, and immediate as they can.

This week (April 12 to 18) marks Prevention of Violence Against Women Week. Typically, we host special events during this week, but in light of the pandemic, we have been keeping ourselves busy with helping women in threatening situations, heightened by official calls to staying home. As you know, Prevention of Violence Against Women is not just a week for us, but has been our mission for more than 40 years.

If you are not sure if you should call us, please do not hesitate to reach out. We want to hear from you and we will not judge you. As always, you can call 604-687-1867 or 1-855-687-1868, or text 604-652-1867. You can also email intake@bwss.org.

The Legal Advocacy Team is here for you

Legal systems are complex and justice can be elusive at the best of times. Under COVID-19, the complexity of systems has increased, as well as the distress and frustration of those navigating them. The Legal Advocacy team is here for you, to provide legal advocacy where gender-based violence interfaces with the law, spanning family, immigration, refugee, child welfare and criminal law. Mayra and Summer are just a call, text, or email away. Find out how we can help.

Prioritize your wellness

The COVID-19 pandemic has likely brought many changes to your life, and with it, uncertainty. For so many, uncertainty can lead to anxiety. Social distancing makes it even more challenging because many of us are isolated and may not have access to our usual support systems. There are ways we can take care of ourselves during this time. Here are some self-care strategies that can help you cope.

Give the gift of safety during Prevention of Violence Against Women Week

With your help, we’re able to extend our crisis lines, provide legal advocacy to women, offer texting as a way to reach out to us, continue to provide counselling and employment services—to mention a few. Staying connected saves women’s and children’s lives. We hope you will thoughtfully observe Prevention of Violence Against Women Week by supporting us.

Are you able to chip in a few dollars today? If so, thank you for your support. You may donate online or call us 778-996-5451. If not at this time, thank you for helping us spread the word about our services.

Watch a community conversation on domestic and sexual violence 

Last week, our Executive Director Angela Marie MacDougall was a part of a panel discussing how victims of domestic violence and sexual violence are uniquely affected by the pandemic. Angela was joined by other women serving victims and survivors. Take a look at what they have to say.

Share the knowledge