Public health authorities are urging Ontarians to practice social distancing and stay at home to curb the spread of COVID-19. But we have to remember the impacts of such measures don’t fall on us equally. Home may not be safe for individuals who face domestic/intimate partner violence.

Statistics Canada released the results of their first national survey on the impacts of COVID-19 on April 8. One of the most striking findings was that during this period of social distancing, 1 in 10 women in Canada is very or extremely concerned about the possibility of violence in the home.

Some municipalities are reporting an increase of domestic violence incidents since the COVID-19 outbreak. And since there already weren’t enough shelter services for women and children before the pandemic, this is the time to take this crisis seriously and oppose violence against women.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic/intimate partner violence, the CUPE Ontario Women’s Committee would like to draw your attention to the following resources:

Talk4Healing is a culturally grounded, fully confidential helpline for Indigenous women available in 14 languages all across Ontario. You can access Talk4Healing by calling the toll-free number 1-855-554-4325. is an online resource, developed by Women’s Shelters Canada, to help women and their children seeking safety from violence and abuse. On their website is a clickable map of Canada that serves as a fast resource to connect women with the nearest shelter that can offer safety, hope and support. You can click on the map of Ontario and there you will be asked to type in information such as your address, how far you need the closest shelter/transition house to be and if you need space for children, pets and any accommodation needs.

The Assaulted Women’s Helpline is a free anonymous and confidential 24-hour telephone and TTY crisis telephone line to all women in the province of Ontario who have experienced any form of abuse. They provide support in 200 Languages, 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. They provide crisis counselling, safety planning, emotional support, information and referrals and work in tandem with community partners and sister agencies towards bridging gaps in service and identifying emerging issues or trends relevant to the women we work with. Deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There’s also the Senior Safety Line accessed by calling 1-866-299-1011.

Fem’aide is a provincial telephone helpline for Francophone women dealing with violence. They provide support, information and referral to appropriate front-line services within their communities, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can access Fem’aide by calling the toll-free number 1-877-336-2433.

The Human Rights Legal Support Centre launched SHARE – the Sexual Harassment and Assault Resource Exchange. SHARE is a service that supports all workers who have experienced sexual harassment or assault at work in 140 languages. They provide free, confidential legal information to workers about all their available options to address their experience. You can find more about SHARE by visiting their website or by calling using the following information.

The SHARE Team can be reached by calling the HRLSC and following the prompts. You will need to press 8 to reach the SHARE intake staff.
Tel: (416) 597-4900
Toll Free: 1-866-625-5179
TTY: (416) 597-4903
TTY Toll Free: 1-866 612-8627
Their telephone lines are open*:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday: 9 am to 5 pm
Thursday: 2 pm to 6 pm

Read CUPE National’s Fact Sheet on Domestic Violence Support Services.