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Media opportunity: Women experienced more severe and frequent violence during the pandemic and had trouble accessing support services: Dalhousie University research
Women experienced more frequent and often more severe violence during the pandemic, which created new challenges for both the groups supporting victims of abuse and the women themselves, according to a new study led by a researcher at Dalhousie University.
The report released today looked at the experiences of staff and survivors at organizations that supported women dealing with violence throughout the pandemic in the Greater Toronto Area.
Dr. Alexa Yakubovich, an assistant professor in Dalhousie's Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, co-led the study and found that service providers saw a sharp increase in the number of clients who were experiencing more severe violence.
The report also found that pandemic-related restrictions and the isolation of women at home with abusive partners made it far more difficult for them to access counselling, housing, legal support and appropriate health care. At the same time, nearly every participating organization had to significantly change its service model due to the pandemic, in many cases without sufficient funding.
The authors are calling for increased funding for organizations dealing with violence against women and for improved access to housing, health, justice and social protection systems for women experiencing violence.
Dr. Yakubovich is available to discuss the findings, the experiences of women dealing with violence and the impacts on support services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Results from the report on women’s experiences with housing and homelessness will be shared by a virtual panel co-hosted with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation on June 22. Registration for that event is available here. Additional results will also be shared at a webinar co-hosted with the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre on Family Violence Research on June 23.
Department of Community Health and Epidemiology
Senior Research Reporter
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