In March 2020, a global pandemic reached Canada, leading to massive closures across the country. It was anticipated that the closures will encourage people to stay home where they will be safe. However, for many people, home was not a safe place. Since the pandemic, the rates of intimate partner violence has increased. Another statistics found that the crisis helplines have increased 30 %. Violence against women and girls is considered the, “shadow pandemic” by the United Nations. Another staggering statistics, the Toronto Crisis Line reported they had received 55,000 crisis calls from March 2020 to September 2020, an increase from 4000 in 2019.
Lisa Ogbole, founder and operator of Imani’s Place, a safe haven for women survivors of domestic abuse and trafficking, shared the startling experiences of many women within Canada and across the world. Girls as young as twelve years old are recruited into trafficking throughout the world. Their involvement in the “trade” is supported by drugs, secrecy, and coercion. In intimate partner violence, women often feel trapped in relationships where they can’t seem to escape. Many women hold onto their love for their partner, and make excuses for their abusive behaviour.
As a psychotherapist, the stories of the courageous women who survived human trafficking, the sex trade, and intimate partner violence, speaks to intolerable situations. It is a difficult journey. But help is available. Help is always available. To watch Ms. Ogbole’s workshop, follow our You Tube Page.
in Durham Region
If your home is not safe or you are not in a safe place, seek help. Contact 911. Ask to speak to a domestic violence officer or a human trafficking specialist officer skilled in assessing abuse and guiding you to safety.
Herizon House -Ajax
- Shelter for women and children who are fleeing an abusive environment.
- 314 Harwood Ave. S., Ajax, ON, L1S 7H2
- 24-hour support by calling 1-866-437-4066
- Outreach crisis counselling and transitional support available to women who are living in an abusive situation, inquiring about what options are available, or for women who have left an abusive situation. Counselling is available during the week, some evenings, and some weekends.
Durham Youth Services – Ajax
- Offers various shelters and housing program for youth ages 16-24.
- 82 Kings Crescent, Ajax, ON, L1S 2M6
- Joanne’s House: Emergency shelter available to youth ages 16-24. They are able to accommodate 13 youth at a time, and beds are given on a first come, first serve basis. Youth can stay for 30 days and will receive access to meals, laundry, life skills training, bus tickets for appointments and school, and food and clothing donations. Youth are encouraged to call and leave a message as soon as they need a bed. Please call 905-239-9477 for more information.
- Jacky’s Place: Transitional housing for youth. Youth can live there for one year. Please call or text 289-980-5557 for more information.
- Youth Reconnect: youth homelessness prevention program. The Youth Reconnect Counsellor works with youth and their families to help keep the youth at home. Such assistance includes helping the youth stay in school, linking the youth to specialized services, and more. Please call or text Kelly Jackson (the Youth Reconnect Counsellor) at 905-391-4845 for more information.
Denise House – Oshawa
- Provides support to women and children who are impacted by violence.
- Located in Oshawa, ON. Address is hidden for safety reasons, please call if you would like to access services.
- Secure emergency shelter for women and children fleeing abuse (physical, emotional, sexual, or financial)
- Emergency transportation to the shelter is available, and food, clothing, and necessities will be supplied.
- Community Child and Youth Worker is available to support children ages 5-18
- 24-hour crisis line available at: 905-728-7311 or 1-800-263-3725
YWCA Durham – Oshawa
- YWCA Administration: 33 McGrigor Street, Oshawa, ON, L1H 1X8
- Y’s WISH Shelter provides temporary shelter for women, youth, and children who are fleeing from abuse.
- Staff and volunteers will connect women with community agencies, housing, social services, employment, legal aid, and more.
- Provides services to women in the community who have left or are leaving an abusive relationship.
- Interim housing is available for single women who are 18 and up and are experiencing homelessness.
- Supportive housing (rent geared to income housing) is available for single women and female-led families
- Crisis Line: 905-576-2997 or 1-888-596-2997
- Address is unknown for safety precautions.
- Shelter and Community Outreach program for women, youth, and children who are dealing with gender-based violence, such as: domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse, familial abuse, cultural violence, and human trafficking.
- Shelter and Community Outreach program clients have access to individual and group counselling, safety planning, Child and Youth Worker support, and help from a Transition and Housing Worker.
- Support Line: 905-623-6050 or 1-800-338-3397
Cornerstone Community Association -Oshawa
- 133 Simcoe Street South, Oshawa, ON, L1H 4G8
- Shelter for men aged 16 and up who are currently homeless.
- Can provide temporary housing for single father with dependent children, couples with dependent children, and more.
- All guests are allowed to stay up to 7 days of emergency stay, however, there are various service requirements the individual must agree to.
- Provides other various housing programs.
- Phone: 905-433-0254
Muslim Welfare Home- Whitby
- 425 Dundas Street East, Whitby, ON, L1N 2J2
- Shelter for Muslim women and their children who are in need of housing.
- The staff and volunteers can provide marriage and family counselling, legal and medical referrals, resume building workshops, job search support, life skills training, and more.
- Services available in English, Urdu, Farsi, Arabic, Punjabi, Hindi, and Spanish.
- Phone Number: 905-665-0424 or 1-866-666-1115
Community Resources List
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