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Domestic Violence Coined “Shadow Pandemic” by United Nations-Join CHW for Virtual Telethon Aug 24 to Help Empower Victims of Domestic Violence

July 26, 2021

Staying home during a pandemic is not safe for everyone. After more than a year and a half of lockdowns and quarantines, domestic violence has increased across the globe. The drastic increase in intimate partner and domestic abuse has been coined the “Shadow Pandemic” by the United Nations. In Israel, the number of domestic violence complaints has increased by 800 per cent since the beginning of COVID-19. The Assaulted Women’s helpline in Ontario reported a 400 per cent increase during the first month of the pandemic. With no opportunities to leave the house and limited or no access to friends and family, it became that much easier for abusers to isolate their victims.

The annual report by the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability, which was released in March, showed that 160 women and girls were killed in Canada in 2020, many by current or former partners or family members.  In the first half of 2021, 92 women and girls were killed, mostly by men.

Now is the time to empower women by stepping up emergency support and services. Lead by its first CEO, Lisa Colt-Kotler, CHW is launching a quadruple matching 24-hour crowdfunding campaign and proceeds will help empower victims of domestic violence.

CHW’s summer campaign, S.O.S – Starting Over Safely, has three priorities for projects in Israel: CHW Youth Villages, which provide a safe haven for at risk adolescents and supports mental health through a variety of outlets; Essential Kits for Families, which provides the basic necessities needed to help each family start over safely after they leave an emergency shelter; and, The Safety Net Program, which will empower women and their children by providing housing, financial help, social and personal support, employment support, and a network of other women in similar circumstances. Safety Net has nearly a 100% success rate of breaking the cycle of violence and preventing victims from re-entering a domestic abuse relationship.

Even though things are opening up again, and it seems like life is returning to normal, these negative effects will linger long after the pandemic ends.  On August 24-25, funds donated will be matched three more times by a loyal community of donors recognized as “Matching Heroes.” During the 24-hour campaign which kicks off at noon in each centre across the country, each gift donated on the website is quadrupled.

SAVE THE DATE: On August 24, at 8 PM ET, join CHW for a free star-studded 90-minute blockbuster virtual telethon experience and learn more about how you can help empower victims of domestic violence. To watch, just click on the link from our campaign website.

You have the power to empower.

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.