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May 1, 2020 0 Comments

Domestic violence, isolation and what to do if you or someone you know is at risk

As countries go into lockdown to protect against a pandemic, the numbers of gender-based domestic violence incidents are showing an alarming spike. The United Nations is calling the crisis the “Shadow Pandemic.” The United Nations Secretary General, Anotnio Guterres, called for measures to reduce the “horrifying global surge in domestic violence” linked to Covid-19 lockdowns.

Here, in Canada, federal consultations reveal domestic violence incidents have increased by 20 to 30 percent. In some women’s shelters in Toronto, helpline calls have gone up by 400 percent, while in some other regions they have dramatically decreased. Experts warn that silence is scarier—it might mean victims have fewer opportunities to escape their abuser, and are too afraid to reach out.

In today’s episode, Saba Eitizaz speaks to Andrea Gunraj, the Vice President of Public Engagement at the Canadian Women’s Foundation, about the horror of victims potentially trapped in self-isolation with their abusers, how they can get help, and how it’s our responsibility to help them.

There are two versions of this episode. This one and another one in todays feed titled “May days.” That version doesn’t have the term “domestic violence” in the title or description anywhere in an attempt to be more accessible for people at risk of violence who might feel safer listening to it. In addition, if you—or someone you know—is at risk of violence, the Star has put together a resource guide for getting help.

Listen here or subscribe at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts.

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