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Sunday, May 3, 2020

Community Supports Reach Out To Those Suffering Abuse

Grey Bruce | by Claire McCormack  

#HereToHelpGB aims to fill gap as COVID-19 disrupts protective networks and access to help.

Local police, mental health professionals, family services and women's shelters are teaming up in a new campaign called #HereToHelpGB.

Its aim is to reach kids, youth and women who are in abusive situations or feeling scared during this time of isolation.  

A report from the World Health Ogranization says the disruption of protective networks and decreased access to services, family and friends increases the risk of domestic violence. The WHO also says people are encouraged to stay at home the risk of intimate partner violence is likely to increase.

Owen Sound police say the community's most vulnerable often rely on our schools, daycares, community centres, health care facilities and places of worship as a safe places in Grey Bruce.

They say with the recent closure of so many of public and institutional settings, the people who usually provide comfort and act as safeguards are not physically present.

The goal of the campaign is to let those who are in need of support know they are not alone, that help is available.  

If you or someone you know is in an abusive situation, you can reach out for the help you need.  

Numbers for help:

211 is a multi-lingual helpline to connect you to services in your community

911 is for all emergency situations

226-974-0755 a text support line for women in crisis

1-800-668-6868 Kids Help Phone

The Women’s House says there is the potential for an increase in the number of women it may need to support. The organization says that may mean increases in the number of residents at the Women's House during and after COVID-19 as victims may be able to reach out more easily as their abusers leave the home more often.  

The shelter says it is working with community partners to reaching out to those potential victims now and find a way to help them early.

They hope to do some of that through #HereToHelpGB.

This campaign is a collaboration between police in Owen Sound, Saugeen Shores, West Grey, Hanover and the OPP along with the Canadian Mental Health Association, Grey Bruce Mental Health and Addiction Services, Bruce Grey Child and Family Services, 2-1-1 Central East Ontario, and Women's House Serving Bruce & Grey.


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