Ishtar Women’s Resource Society’s (IWRS) crisis line remains open – providing emotional support and safe housing to women experiencing gender-based violence or uncertainty during difficult times.
Although social isolation may help reduce the spread of COVID-19, for many survivors, staying home is not a safe option.
North American case studies and first-hand accounts indicate that violence against women is likely to increase after a disaster – meaning a women’s safety from gender-based violence is further compromised by the pandemic.
IWRS wants to assure women experiencing gender-based violence that they are not alone during this unprecedented crisis.
People are free to call the IWRS Crisis Line at 604-530-9442. Phone lines are open 24/7.
Laurie Parsons, IWRS Executive Director said women who experience gender-based violence are in isolation with their violent partners during this pandemic.
“Men who use violence against women have more control than ever in these circumstances and may be home 24 hours per day. These are especially dangerous times for women in violent relationships,” she said. “I’m so very proud of IWRS’s incredibly dedicated staff who will continue to provide services throughout the pandemic as best they can.”
To minimize risk of COVID-19 exposure to supported women, children, staff and volunteers, IWRS’s free-store has been closed but essentials such as food, coats, and hygiene products are still available at reception.
Support workers and counsellors are available on-site and if a woman is ill, services can be offered by phone and email.
Transition House is available for women and children fleeing violence.
Isolation plans are in place for women who are ill or confirmed with the COVID-19 virus.
The transition houses are running very low on disinfectant wipes, paper towels, hand sanitizer and other cleaning products.
If anyone can help with donations, people can call 604-534-1011.
For more information, people can visit www.ishtarsociety.org.
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