***CONTENT WARNING : discussion of gender-based violence***
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada has seen an increase in sexual violence and intimate partner violence. In a time when individuals were asked to self-isolate in tight family units, with many facing intensifying financial and mental health issues, homes became incubators for domestic violence. Among those most at risk of domestic violence and intimate partner violence are women, children and non-binary folk. Pre-existing abusive circumstances worsened due to living conditions during the pandemic.
In an interview with CBC, Minister for Women and Gender Equality, Maryam Monsef stated that COVID-19 is empowering perpetrators of domestic violence and intimate partner violence as victims are constantly under surveillance by their abusers. Rates of domestic violence are increasing worldwide with reports of domestic abuse increasing 36 per cent in France and 25 per cent in the U.K. In Canada, a Statistics Canada report found that 10 percent of women are very or extremely concerned about experiencing domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In and around Sackville, there are mental health resources, crisis centres, women’s shelters, and sexual assault centres to aid those experiencing domestic violence and intimate partner violence. Below there are several listed.
Crossroads for Women: Crossroads for Women is available to help survivors of gender based violence through various services. The non-governmental organization offers a family violence crisis centre, a sexual assault centre, a crisis line available 24/7, housing programs, an emergency shelter, community outreach program, and a child and youth support program. Crossroads is currently offering a monthly outreach worker to meet one-on-one in a safe location in Sackville. The numbers for all of Crossroads for Women’s services can be found on their website with the crisis line being 1-844-853-0811 and the emergency shelter line being 1-844-853-0811.
Chimo Helpline: Chimo Helpline is a provincial crisis phone line that is accessible 24/7 to residents of New Brunswick. Working to provide aid with crisis intervention and offering resources for those in need, the phone line strives to offer survivors a listening ear. To contact Chimo Helpline, call (506) 450-4357 or 1-800-667-5005.
Sexual Violence New Brunswick (SVNB): SVNB is a 24 hour support line that offering aid and resources to those affected by sexual violence. Sexual Violence New Brunswick can be contacted 24/7 at (506) 454.0437.
Moncton Hospital, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program (SANE): For survivors of sexual or domestic violence that want support and a possible forensic examination, SANE offers physical examination to check for any injuries, screening tests to identify possible sexually-transmitted infections and pregnancy, and medical treatment to aid those in need. For service after sexual assault visit the Emergency Department of the Moncton City Hospital at 134 McBeath Ave, Moncton, NB.
Hopewell Counselling (Sackville-based clinic): Hopewell Counselling offers counselling to aid those experiencing domestic violence and various mental health issues including post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression. Appointments can be made online through their website or by contacting (506) 939-2123.
Atlantic Wellness Clinic: Based in Moncton, Atlantic Wellness is a registered charity that provides free mental healthcare to youth aged 12 to 21, offering various forms of aid including group therapy, workshops, outreach therapy, and a mental health clinic. The charity can be contacted by phone at (506) 382-0298 or by email at [email protected].
Please continue to refer to SHARE as a resource available to members of the Mount Allison Community. SHARE offers advice and support, whether it be by phone, video, or email, to those who have experienced sexual violence. Call or text (506) 540-7427 or email [email protected].