Toronto police issued a public safety alert in regards to crimes against vulnerable people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to police, since the start of the pandemic, the Toronto Police Service has not experienced an increase in reports for crimes against vulnerable people, including those for child abuse, intimate partner violence, or elder abuse.
“However, we also know these crimes often go unreported. If you are a victim of any kind of abuse, or if you believe someone you know is being victimized, there are community resources available and the police are actively responding to these calls for service,” said police, adding that everyone has a responsibility to report to “any suspicions that a child is, or may be, in need of protection.”
Police said that they know, during this time, some families may have trouble coping with what’s happening around the world and in the city.
“We also know that parents may be trying to cope with lost wages, feelings of isolation, and other factors, that often result in stressful situations for the whole family,” reads the safety alert. “Services are available to any child or family that need them and we would encourage parents and families to reach out if they believe they need to be supported.”
- Kids Help Phone – 1-800-668-6868
- Children’s Aid Society of Toronto – 416-924-4646
- Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto – 416-395-1500
- Jewish Family & Child Service of Greater Toronto – 416-638-7800
- Native Child & Family Services of Toronto – 416-969-8510
The Toronto Police Service also works closely with community partners to ensure that victims of domestic violence and their children get the help and support they need.
- Victim Services Toronto – 416-808-7066
- Assaulted Women Helpline – GTA: 416-863-0511 – T/F 1-866-863-0511
“Elder abuse may happen to any older person regardless of gender, culture, race, financial status, mental or physical condition and occurs more frequently when an older person is socially isolated,” said police.
They say it takes many forms, not all of which are visible including emotional abuse, neglect, theft or financial coercion.
- Toronto Seniors Helpline – 416-217-2077
- Seniors Safety Line – 1-866-299-1011
- Advocacy Centre for the Elderly – 1-855-598-2656 or 416-598-2656
In all cases, if you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 911.
Non-emergency calls for service can be made to 416-808-2222 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, online on the Facebook Leave a Tip page, or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637).