Gender-based violence is a public health and social crisis that affects women and children, especially those in marginalized or LGBTQ+ communities. During the COVID-19 lockdown, 10% of women feared domestic violence, according to Statistics Canada, but this fear isn’t new or special to Canada. Around the world, even without a pandemic, one third of women experience physical and/or sexual violence, according to the World Health Organization.
Across the country, many charities have reported rises in demands on women’s shelters and services. A lack of feeling safe in one’s own home is magnified during a pandemic and other social crises, as both victims and abusers are isolated in close quarters. In Canada, intimate-partner violence accounts for one-quarter of crimes reported to the police. As a result, women, teenagers and children turn to emergency helplines, shelters, and family-law services. They also benefit from counseling centres, support groups, and temporary financial help if they experience domestic abuse and face financial crises as a consequence.
Domestic violence charities are the backbone of Canada’s social safety net
Overburdened and underfunded, charities have attempted to support frontline relief efforts, providing for basic needs and working with women and children facing threats, violence, or homelessness in communities across Canada. These charities form the backbone of Canada’s social safety net. They counter violence against women and families; they advocate for the human rights of women and girls both here and in other countries, promoting gender equality and gender equity; and they help girls and women deal with bullying at school, harassment on the streets, discrimination in workplaces, or other scary situations based on targeting people because of their gender, race, sexual orientation, age, ability, and other interconnected identities.
You can help move women and children out of violence
To support the charities working to end this crisis, CanadaHelps created the Stop Gender-Based Violence Fund, an easy way to support more than 400 charities dedicated to this Cause in a single transaction. Gifts made to this Fund are pooled together to achieve wide-reaching impact and to help Canadian charities continue their important work moving women and children out of violence, supporting survivors, and performing critical advocacy and education to stop cycles of violence before they start.