Lack of beds forced London’s Anova shelter to turn away women more than 2,500 times in 2018

Anova on Wellington Road. in London.
Anova on Wellington Road. in London. Google Maps/July 2018

New data from London’s Anova shows that 2018 was a record year for the agency, which was forced to turn away women 2,553 times because of a lack of beds at its shelter.

The agency says it received 11,195 calls to its crisis and support line, or 31 calls per day; served 383 clients through a single family court support worker; provided 903 hours of sexual assault counselling delivered by two counsellors and placed 75 women on a wait list for sexual assault services.

“Our community is in crisis,” said executive director Jessie Rodger.

“Women-identified people are coming to Anova through our crisis line, shelters and sexual assault centre in droves.”

Anova stressed that even when the shelter is at capacity, women and children are “always given resources and options to mitigate risks,” but the agency says the data highlights “the harsh realities of experiencing gender-based violence in London-Middlesex.”

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“We are calling on our community, including all levels of government, to address this urgent and life-threatening crisis,” said Rodger.

The agency is also offering a letter template for any community members who would like to contact their elected representatives.