Imagine having to choose between the risk of being infected with COVID-19 or living with escalating abuse at the hands of a partner or family member. This is the reality for thousands of women and children in Canada, right now. During the COVID-19 pandemic, as the incidents of gender-based violence rise, Shelter Movers remains committed to moving families to safety.
Every day, women in Canada attempt the dangerous, costly and complicated act of trying to leave their abuser, often with children in tow. The prospect of losing everything one owns is known to be a major barrier to leaving an abusive relationship.
Pressure to self-isolate at home (due to COVID-19) plays into the hands of abusers, as abuse is predicated on control and isolation of survivors, from their friends, family and coworkers.
"When I was in an abusive marriage, the abuse always escalated during crisis and financial stress. There are no moments of relief for the victim when the abuser is not [leaving] the house." - Samra Zafar, Survivor
Shelter Movers supports survivors in Greater Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa and Nova Scotia. As the only free moving and storage service for survivors in Canada, we must be ready to respond when a woman finds the courage to leave her abuser.
In order to operate as safely as possible, we have the duty to provide our volunteer movers and clients with the necessary personal protective equipment to reduce the risk of infection. We must wipe down rental trucks, wear disposable gloves and sanitize our hands throughout each move. A decrease in volunteer support (due to social-distancing) and an increase in costs for safety supplies means that we need to appeal to the community for help.
We are currently moving 30-40 families per month across our chapters. Your contribution will mean Shelter Movers will be able to continue to support families moving into shelters, as well as those who have managed to secure housing and need to self-isolate in their new home.
"At an internal cost of $200 per move, donations now will mean more than ever. Shelter Movers is positioned to immediately support thousands of women and children during and after this global pandemic" - Founder and Executive Director, Marc Hull-Jacquin
Join us in support of women and children seeking a life of dignity and safety, free of violence.