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Family Violence and COVID-19

Experts warn that there will be an increase in family violence incidents in Canadian communities as a result of the government’s directive for families to stay at home and self-isolate as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. There has been evidence of this in other countries that have been affected by the coronavirus and required self-isolation. The NCR Family Violence Advisory Team (FVAT) has prepared the following information to help provide guidance in managing matters of family violence during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although the current outbreak of COVID-19 has not changed the process for interventions in matters of family violence, it is important for everyone to be informed of the modifications of core services represented on the FVAT and CAF community agency partners because of the virus. Modifications to services are as follows:

CF Health Services Ottawa Mental Health Department

Services are currently offered through tele-health. In person appointments are available on an urgent basis, but members must call the clinic first. Consultations on matters of family violence regarding military members can be provided through Mental Health (MH) Intake.
MH Intake Services are available through tele-health Monday to Friday from 0730 -1200. Call: 613-945-1060.

MFRC NCR

The Military Family Resource Centre - National Capital Region (MFRC NCR) is currently providing virtual and phone support. Please contact Family Wellness Services Intake, Monday to Friday 0800 - 1600 at fws.intake@mfrc-ncr.ca or 613-998-4884. You can also reach the Family Wellness Services Manager at fwsmanager@mfrc-ncr.ca or 613-991-4024.
Social workers may be able to provide in-person emergency support at the discretion of the organization and will be based on COVID-19 screening protocols.

Military Police

Military Police will respond to calls as usual. If there is a suspected case of COVID-19, they will follow appropriate protocols. Call the Military Police dispatch center at 613-820-0123.

Chaplains

Chaplains are responding to most situations by phone.
The Chaplains assist with screening to access funds such as Support Our Troops funding and have direct access to the Chain of Command. To reach the duty chaplain, phone the MP dispatch at: 613-820-0123 and they will page the duty chaplain.

Family Information Line

Confidential, personal, bilingual and free service offering information, support, referrals, reassurance and crisis management to the military community. Serving Canadian Armed Forces members, Veterans and their families - immediate and extended. Call 1-800-866-4546 or email: FIL@CAFconnection.ca.

SISIP and Support Our Troops

Financial assistance applications for serving members are available through your local SISIP Financial Counsellor at https://www.sisip.com.

Financial resources may also be available through Support Our Troops Funds, such as the COVID-19 Emergency grant for families in need of grocery/gas support. To apply: https://www.supportourtroops.ca/Get-Support/Emergency-financial-assistance. You can also contact the Padres or the MFRC FWS Intake for assistance with the application at fws.intake@mfrc-ncr.ca or 613-998-4884.

Canadian Forces Member Assistance Program

Counselling services will be provided through tele-health or video counselling with a civilian provider. They will be contacted within 48 hours and offered an appointment within 5 business days at no cost to the member. This service is also available for family and services members. It is intended for short term support. Typically, 6-8 sessions are authorized.
 



Services to the community resources below may also be modified. Please note: this information is accurate as of the time of its writing. All agencies contacted were clear that their policies / practices / approaches to COVID-19 are fluid and evolving as the situation changes.

Unsafe at Home

Text: 613-704-5535. Chat online: unsafeathomeottawa.ca.
This service has been created for those who may find it impossible to reach out due to distancing measures. It is available 7 days a week from 0830 to midnight. It features safe, encrypted technology to keep conversations safe and secure. Users will be linked to trained counsellors who provide support, referrals and advice in English or French.

 Assaulted Women’s Helpline

1-866-863-0511 (toll-free)
During this time of crisis and uncertainty, the Assaulted Women’s Helpline (1-866-863-0511) and the Senior Safety Line (1-866-299-1011) remain committed to delivering our 24/7 crisis counselling for women and seniors in the province of Ontario. Please share widely - the Assaulted Women’s Helpline is available in over 200 languages.

Fem’aide

1-877-336-2433 (toll-free)
Fem’aide offers French-speaking women who have experienced gender-based violence support, information and referral to appropriate front-line services within their communities, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Immigrant Women Services Ottawa

613-729-1393
Our staff will be working remotely until further notice.
Language interpretation and translation services are still available by calling our 24-hour line at 613-729-1393.

Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women (OCTEVAW)

613-237-1000
Provides prevention and education around gender-based violence, as well as a list of available resources (including ones operating during COVID-19). https://www.octevaw-cocvff.ca/get-help or call 613-237-1000.



Situations requiring emergency housing will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Emergency PMQ housing is not a safe option for victims of family violence. Depending on the situation, emergency housing may be available for single CAF members. Safe housing alternatives with be explored and this may include referral to a shelter. Contact the MFRC or Duty Padre to assess your housing needs.

All Violence Against Women Shelters in Ontario have received directives from Public Health to create and implement screening plans. Sheltersafe.ca is a detailed online resource to explore emergency housing options. Alternatively, one of the following shelters in the community can be contacted:

Chrysalis House: 613-591-5901, TTY 613-591-8912

Interval House: 613-234-5181, TTY 613-234-5393, our Transitional Housing Support Worker still available to provide telephone crisis and needs-based support

La Présence: 613-241-8297

Lanark County Interval House: 1-800-267-7946, 613-257-5960, TTY 613-257-1952

Maison d’amitié: 613-747-0020 or 613-744-7789

Nelson House: 613-225-3129, TTY 613-225-4653

Oshki Kizis Lodge (for Aboriginal women): 613-789-1141

Harmony House (daytime only): 613-233-3386

Evelyn Horne Emergency & Transitional Housing Program for Young Women: 613-789-8220

SafePet Ottawa (fosters pets for women while staying at a VAW shelter)

Maison Unies.Vers.Femmes: 819-568-4710 (Gatineau)

lMaison Libère-Elles: 819-827-4044 (Gatineau)


Any further questions pertaining to matters of family violence can be directed to the Family Wellness Services Manager at fwsmanager@mfrc-ncr.ca or 613-991-4024; or the Psychosocial Services Program Manager by calling the MH Department of the CF Health Services Ottawa at 613-945-1060.


References:
DAOD 5044-4
CDS Guidance Family Violence

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