COVID-19 and domestic violence: A meeting of two pandemics

The Big Story


I think it's become pretty clear to everyone by now. Self-isolation in this pandemic means dramatically different things different people at one end of the spectrum. There are the clueless celebrities making videos. About how their mansions feel like jail at the other end obviously are people who don't have a home to. Hashtag stay home and I'm much closer to one end on the other. Have a house and it has everything I need. I'm fine but there are people who at a glance. Have the exact same thing. I do. A house yard a family enough groceries but who are in real danger right now for some people. The home is not a safe place even in the best of times of course a depressing proportion of women as well as men are at risk of abuse or worse from their partners. And that's at the best of times when it's a lot easier to leave a dangerous situation as you may be aware these are not the best of times and it's not easy to leave anyone or to go anywhere so what options to people who are living in abusive situations now have what's being done to help. How can we find ways to get them out of their homes when nobody is supposed to leave? There's our guest. Today has reported on this issue for a long time and she will help us explain the crisis that so many. Canadians find themselves caught in right now but first we have to give you a quick roundup of what you need to know about. Kovic in Canada today and clear. Brisard will do that now. The cove in nineteen death toll in Canada has now surpassed one thousand however. There is some cautious optimism from Canada's Chief Public Health Officer Dr Teresa Tam who says the spread does appear to be slowing down. She says in late. March cases were doubling every three days and now they're doubling every ten days or so but as we've heard from so many people Dr Teresa. Tam Says we cannot let go of our physical distancing measures just yet Justin Trudeau has announced that the government is expanding the list of people who are eligible to receive the emergency response benefit. If you earn a thousand dollars or less a month you'll now be able to apply for the C. E. R. B. If you were expecting a seasonal job that isn't coming because of covert nineteen you will now be able to apply. And if you've run out of e I since January first you can now apply for the C. E. R. B. as well although British Columbia has managed to flatten the curve. The province is extending its state of emergency for another two weeks. It will also be releasing more modeling of cases on Friday and premier. John Horgan has hinted that it'll show more progress for the province. Ontario is still seeing hundreds of new cases every day but the chief medical officer says it is possible that the province is passed the peak of the outbreak. There were four hundred ninety four new cases in Ontario on Wednesday and two hundred and twenty one of those have been linked to long-term care homes in the US President. Donald Trump says he is cutting US payments to the World Health Organization during the pandemic. He's accusing the organization of failing to do enough to stop the virus from spreading when it first surfaced in China Canada's International Development Minister says Canada is disappointed in this move as of Wednesday evening at twenty eight thousand three hundred and seventy nine cases of Cova nineteen in Canada with one thousand and seventy deaths Jordan Heath Rawlings. And this is the big story. Sarah Boast Feld is a writer and a reporter a sometimes guest host of this. Podcast is Sarah. Hello Jordan. How are you is that a question? You're asking you know these guys. That's how we start. Now Yeah Yeah and I think like it used to be a very simple answer. It's complicated right. You know. Everyone's healthy in our home. Everyone's safe so we're that is something. I'm going to be really grateful for and trying to keep perspective every day. Yeah how about you how are you doing? I'm doing well I'm also safe and you know my home has everything I need. And like. I said in the INTRO that That makes me lucky. So we're here to talk about People who who are not safe in their homes even though it might look like they have everything. Why don't you just start off for those of us? Who are lucky enough to not Have dealt with this in a normal situation when there is no pandemic. How would someone Plan to escape an abusive situation. Well I think at the best of times people who are in abusive situations at its take them a long time to get the not only the courage but also just that perspective that okay. This is really not a a situation. I am safe anymore. My family is safe in anymore A lot of Women in particular there are men some men who abuse to primarily women. You know they. They choose to live with it for a long time. And there's a lot of psychological manipulation that happens is a lot of Mind Games you know. Often it will be you know. Their actual safety has been threatened in an incident or are few where they decide that. It's time to try to leave and what they might do. Is You know. Make call while they're at work on a phone like their office lying or go meet with a trusted friend and a coffee shop or physically. Go seek out resources at a sexual assault centre or shelter or any of the other resources that we have in our communities as we know now. That's that's there are a lot of options that are not available to these women now amidst this covert nineteen pandemic you. How does any of that work? Now I mean are some measures of these things still available for people who need help will yes. The shelter systems. Thank God are considered essential services. So they are open they are helping women who are in abusive situations and and also I think about this just in my own life. Thank goodness to that. Technology is advanced as it is because we do have video chat. We do have texts. We do have email who do have social media. We have lots of ways that we can check in and help one another and certainly these organizations that are trained and equipped to help. These women are have those resources. Well now The dark side of technologies availability. All the time is that there is some monitoring that goes on by abusers. Will we'd women's tax listen in on phone calls or skype calls or something so that's a danger as well and I mean we could talk about the dangers Jordan that are amplified when you're at home all the time with an abuser 'cause I just described you know you can. You can make that safe phone call at work. You can like go. Meet up with a friend in person so that you're not being monitored maybe or you don't have like a paper trail of things that this abuser could could get his hands on You know and then you have a reason to leave the house exactly and I mean our on the supposed to be leaving the house when we are getting exercise and maybe you end up on a family walk right in. You're not alone You know and it could be really really difficult because also like that is a hallmark of abuse to is isolation right like so abuse women are already considered already experiencing isolation before. We've all been asked as a public service. Public Health Act to collectively stay home and isolate ourselves like even that term is used now in common parlance talking about Cova but yeah it gets an isolating experience to be abused and there's a lot of barriers. Now that are set up for you know for women to actually get help. So we've been at this Some of US for months. Some of US for longer. Do we have any idea how dangerous this lockdown has been for women in abusive situations in Canada? Yeah we ha- we do have a sense of dot and I you know I've been heartened to see a decent amount of media coverage about the increase in domestic violence You know statistics candidate is survey recently. Just sort of taking the temperature people's feelings You know around the impact of covert on their lives and one in ten women specifically reported that they are concerned about violence in the home. And I believe that. The wording was vague. It didn't say are you concerned about violence in your own home specifically so we don't really have a great picture from that but what we do know. Is that the fear is real and I've been talking with some Shelter Staff and administrators this week.

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