The YWCA Peterborough Haliburton – which operates the women’s shelter in Minden – said support and crisis services for women experiencing violence are still available.

In an April 9 press release, they said they have implemented COVID-19 screening assessments, disinfecting, physical distancing, and isolation practices since shelters, safety planning, referrals and ongoing support are more important than ever.

“Staying at home is causing increased risk of harm to women who are now trapped and have fewer opportunities to get help,” they said. “Here and around the world, women who have been able to escape abusers or call for help report that the violence escalated during periods of pandemic isolation. Calls to women’s shelters and crisis lines are increasing.”

If you have been injured, or your life is at risk, call 911 for help and let them know if: your life is at risk; you’ve been injured or need an ambulance; the person used a weapon or has threatened to use one and the type; the person has threatened to hurt you, your children, your pets or themselves; drugs (and what kind) and, or alcohol is involved and there is a protection order – a peace bond or family court restraining order.

The YWCA’s 24-hour support and crisis line is available and answered by skilled, empathetic staff at 1-800-461-7656 or text 705-991-0110 if you would like to: speak with someone about your options; are wondering about services in our communities that are still available; are concerned about your safety and your children’s safety; are ready to leave and wonder if there’s a safe place to go or you would like to find out more so you can refer a friend or family member.

“Crossroads Shelter and HERS – Haliburton Emergency Rural SafeSpace are essential services for women and children fleeing violence in Peterborough and Haliburton County. We continue to provide reliable, confidential support, resources, safety and information around the clock,” the release stated.

Their offices are closed to the public and staff who usually work at their Simcoe Street office, Women’s Centre of Haliburton County and Centennial Crescent Housing Community are working remotely and will continue to provide assistance by phone (Peterborough: 705-743-3526, Haliburton: 705-286-6442), text (705-991-1591) and email (info@ywcapeterborough.org) during regular business hours (Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m).

They continue to accept donations online or by phone at 705-743-3526 and thank those who have offered support.

For ongoing updates and information, visit ywcapeterborough.org, or follow them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

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