On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) assessed the novo coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as a pandemic. On March 17th, the Government of Ontario declared a state of emergency under s 7.0. (1) of the Emergency Management and Civil protection act resulting in the closing of private schools, child care centres, restaurants, social venues and all facilities providing indoor recreational programs. On March 24th, the Government of Ontario issued a mandatory closure of all non-essential workplaces. Recommendations to ensure public safety focus on social distancing and isolation within one’s own home which poses unique risk implications for both residential service providers and users, and women within the community at risk-of or experiencing violence in their own homes. In the face of this changing and evolving crisis, OAITH identified the need for a COVID-19 Working Group focused on developing and promoting resources focused on assisting VAW services and survivors in navigating challenges associated with the pandemic, state of emergency and related impacts.
All members of OAITH were invited to participate and contribute their expertise and resources related to social media, resources, and violence against women within the COVID-19 crisis context. The first meeting of the Working Group was held virtually on March 26th 2020. Meetings occur on a weekly basis.
Main goals of the working group include developing tools and resources related to:
- Safety planning within our current context
- Mitigating the wellness and mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic
- Working/providing support from home
If you have resources/information/tools which may be helpful for the working group, please contact the COVID-19 Working Group Chair Amber Wardell at firstname.lastname@example.org
Current Members of the Working Group Include:
Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic
Family Transition Place
Halton Women's Place
Huron Women's Shelter
Interim Place (Peel)
Interval House Ottawa
Kingston Interval House
Leeds & Grenville Interval House
Women's Shelter, Saakaate House
Yellow Brick House
Resources, Tools & Information from OAITH's COVID-19 Working Group
Alternative Residential Options Study
Lakehead University and OAITH have partnered to conduct research about the alternative residential options that had to emerge as a form of service provision. A preliminary overview of the Alternative Residential Options Study was presented Dr. Susan Scott at the “Spotlight on GBV & COVID Research” online event hosted by Anova and EVA Canada on December 8th, 2020. Acess the recording here.
Your Brain May Be on High Alert
This image prompts survivors to consider the impact of COVID-19 changes and restrictions on their sense of safety, ability to safety plan and assess risk, and overall activation of the threat response.
Includes contact information for AWHL and Shelter Safe.
Children, Youth & COVID-19
Lists educational, mental health, and entertainment-based options for helping children, youth and caregivers cope during COVID-19.
Reach Out Animated Graphic
Developed for use on social media and websites to encourage women who are not safe at home to reach out to their local VAW service to learn more about what they can offer during the COVID-19 pandemic. Published April 3rd, 2020.
Available as an animated GIF, or a non-animated PDF or PNG.
10 Tips for Virtual Meeting Etiquette- Published March 31, 2020
Other COVID-19 Related Resources & Websites
Pathway Group- COVID-19 Resource Hub
One-stop hub for information and updates re: gov't supports for businesses, individuals, families and empoyees- updated daily.