Snapshot: COVID-19 and gender-based violence – Text version
COVID-19 and gender-based violence
Canadians have been urged to stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, home is not a safe place for everyone.
"As more countries report infection and lockdown, more domestic violence helplines and shelters across the world are reporting rising calls for help. We see a shadow pandemic growing, of violence against women."
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women
This increase has been seen around the world:
- China: police reports show family violence tripled in Hubei province in February 2020 (compared to February 2019)
- France: cases of intimate partner violence increased by 30% in March 2020
- Argentina: emergency calls for family violence rose by 25% in March 2020.
Situation in Canada
The stress and anxiety resulting from physical distancing measures was a top concern for many Canadians in early April 2020. 1 in 10 women reported being very or extremely concerned about the possibility of violence in the home. (Statistics Canada)
- 32% of Canadians think that domestic violence has increased a lot since the start of the pandemic. (Privy Council Office survey, Spring 2020)
- The Assaulted Women's helpline of Ontario reported a 400% increase in calls in April 2020.
- The Battered Women's Support Services hotline, located in British Columbia, reported a 400% increase in calls between April and May 2020. Of those calls, 40% were from women isolated with their abuser.
Learn more at: canada.ca/gbv-knowledge-centre