Staying home during the pandemic can feel stifling to many Albertans, but for some, it can be downright dangerous.
The Province of Alberta recently issued a release addressing family and domestic violence throughout Alberta, given that many people are having to spend much more time at home than they usually would.
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“Every Albertan – regardless of age, gender or sexual orientation – deserves to feel safe,” said Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism, and Status of Women, Leela Sharon Aheer, in the release.
“While we are encouraging those who can to stay home to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, we recognize that home may not be the safest place for everyone. We hear you and we want you to know you are supported and resources are available to help you stay safe.”
A separate release from the government states that women’s emergency shelters, which offer a refuge for women and children experiencing domestic violence, are supplying self-isolation in hotels for those who may need to leave their homes.
The shelters are also adjusting programming for physical distancing, and hiring additional staff as they have seen an increase in crisis calls during the pandemic.
“Please know that if you or a loved one is experiencing family violence, supports and safe spaces are available,” said Minister of Community and Social Services Rajan Sawhney, in the release.
“You are not alone. If you are dealing with abuse or know someone who is, I encourage you to reach out for help. We need to support one another to keep our communities safe.”
The initial release also included a list of resources provided by the provincial government for anyone facing family or domestic violence:
- Always call 911 in an emergency.
- Alberta’s One Line for Sexual Violence
- 1-866-402-8000 (toll-free, 9 am to 9 pm, 170-plus languages)
- Online chat: aasas.ca
- Family Violence Info Line
- 310-1818 (24-7, 170-plus languages)
- Online chat: alberta.ca/SafetyChat (8 am to 8 pm in English only)
- Alberta Provincial Abuse Helpline
- 1-855-4HELPAB (43-5722) (toll-free, 7:30 am to 8 pm, Monday to Friday, 170-plus languages)
- Child Abuse Hotline
- 1-800-387-KIDS (5437) (toll-free, 24-7)
- Mental Health Helpline
- 1-877-303-2642 (toll-free, 24-7)
- Elder Abuse
- 211 Alberta
- Call or text 211 for further community and government supports throughout the province in multiple languages.