This Version Posted: April 20, 2020
Lisa van der Vinne
HKPR District Health Unit
Stay at home is the order of the day during the current pandemic. The goal is to ‘flatten the curve’ by slowing the spread of COVID-19. This will help ensure our health care system doesn’t get overloaded with COVID-19 cases.
That is a worthwhile goal, but at the same time, I worry about another curve… this one involving a potential increase in cases of domestic violence in Canada.
Many years ago, I worked at a shelter for abused women and children. The pandemic has me thinking of all the families I met those many years ago. While physical distancing and self-isolation due to COVID-19 are hard for all of us, these measures can be especially difficult when home is not a safe place.
If women and children are at risk of domestic violence, staying put due to COVID-19 puts them in greater jeopardy. Getting help and support during the pandemic can also seem more difficult.
Now is even more important for us to play a role in assisting those at risk of domestic violence. Stay in touch with neighbours or friends who you know, or suspect, may be experiencing domestic violence. Share information about local resources and supports so they know who to contact if they need help.
In helping to flatten one curve, let’s ensure we don’t see a rise in another!