Maryam Monsef, Minister For women and Gender Equality reported that a woman in Canada has died at the hands of their partner every 6 days during COVID-19. The rates and severity of violence have increased, particularly in more isolated and rural areas of our country. reports are that things are eerily quiet. Some some women are unable to seek help given increased scrutiny and control, as well as limited access to friends, extended family, community centres, schools and places of worship. She said: “The pandemic doesn’t make the violence stop – it just silences it… making gender-based violence a shadow pandemic.”
To ensure support organizations can continue their critical work, the government announced $50 million to support them – including $40 million to the Minister’s department and $10 million to Indigenous Services Canada for dedicated support to Indigenous women. Of the $40 million, $10 Million is being used to address gaps and $23 million has been provided to Women Shelters Canada, and the Canadian Women’s Foundation to get money into front-line organizations. 422 women’s shelters and 82 sexual assault centres have received funding . The funding is being used to continue safe operations, including remote operations, staff support and cleaning supplies. All eligible organizations will receive funding as of early June. They have reached a separate agreement with Quebec that will see over $6 million delivered to front line organizations.
May 16, 2020: To date more than 500 women’s shelters and sexual assault organization have received additional financial help from previous announcements, including Inasmuch House in Hamilton, the Miramichee Emergency Centre for Women, the Saskatoon Interval House and the South Okanagan Women in Need Society. A $350 emergency fund will mostly be distributed through various community organizations such as the Red Cross and United Way. The application process details will be published on partner association websites. Applications may begin to be submitted on Tuesday May 19th.