Physical violence, emotional abuse, financial control, and bodily control are forms of abuse that 1 in 3 women experience by their intimate partners (CDC.Gov). This is domestic violence. Internal and external factors often exacerbate domestic violence. External factors can include crisis, income, and stress. As a result of these factors, women experienced a tremendous increase in domestic violence during Covid-19, worldwide. Due to the sharp increase in domestic violence, governments must help invest in corrective and preventative actions. The Canadian government has as a response to Covid-19 in terms of providing shelter and crisis help for women who suffer from domestic violence (allocated $50 million was in May 2020 to support organizations providing services to women and their families fleeing violence)- however, a part of this funding is provided to men who suffer from domestic violence as well. Even with this funding that is split among many resources, women and children suffering from domestic violence are still in need of shelter and supplies. Worldwide, 35% of women experienced domestic and or sexual intimate partner violence, or sexual violence by a non-partner. Women's shelters are a safe place where women can go who experience domestic violence. In a study of shelter preparedness, it had stated that time and money are the biggest obstacles. Not only does there exist a lack of physical items, but space itself. Due to Covid-19, space has become limited for the purpose of decreasing the risk of infection. As a result of this many women end up homeless or back with their abuser. All funds collected here will go towards the Anselma House for women and children fleeing abusive homes in Kitchener, Waterloo, and surrounding townships.
This cause is important to me as I myself am a woman, and have recently written a research paper in my Ph.D. program at the University of Waterloo on how Covid-19 has affected women in terms of domestic violence. It has come to my attention, as I stated previously that the amount of women and children suffering from domestic violence has severely increased during Covid-19, leading to many more women in need of help in ways of shelter and supplies. Even if you reading this, or I writing this have not been or are not being affected by domestic violence, there may come a time where our sister, mother, friend, colleague, or ourselves become in need of shelter or supplies due to experiencing domestic violence. And likely chances are that we ourselves, or someone we know has been in this situation and is in need of help. Women's shelters provide a safe place for women and children to re-start their lives and receive help during this stage in their lives. The help of shelters and physical items can help lessen future trauma associated with homelessness or the inability to care for oneself. Research demonstrates that stay at home mothers are at the highest risk of experiencing domestic violence, and often due to financial control, they meet serious difficulty when escaping their abuser. This is one reason many women can not escape.
The goal amount of this fundraiser can be explained this way: if a group of individuals were to donate physical items such as (underwear, toothbrush, toothpaste, sanitary pads) to 100 women, in addition to about 50 boxes of diapers, it would cost almost $4000. My goal here is to be able to help the Anselma centre in any way possible as funds are needed for various reasons.
My aim in the message of this fundraiser is to bring awareness to the severe increase of domestic violence in our communities and to hopefully connect with you on a level of experience that either yourself a loved one, friend, or colleague could have or is, unfortunately experiencing the effects of domestic violence.