The Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre has now launched Ontario’s first 24-hour, seven-day-a-week crisis support text line for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.
According to the centre, after-hours calls and texts have increased by 50 per cent since the COVID-19 outbreak.
Those working in the crisis centre say it’s possible the uptick in calls could be a side-effect caused by the self-isolation and physical-distancing measures put in place to try and stop the spread of COVID-19.
Survivors may be experiencing an increase in violence, financial worries or food insecurity, according to the centre. They may also be sleeping throughout the day to avoid abuse and then reaching out after hours.
The centre is now slowly starting to reopen its doors and allow in-person appointments to resume.
However, executive director Lisa Clarke says staff are still working at capacity to connect clients on the growing wait-list, through phone, email, text and web-based programs.
Now, the centre’s 24-7 crisis support text line has been made available through the support of numerous community partners.
The line is available to Peterborough, Northumberland and Haliburton counties as well as in the city of Kawartha Lakes at 705-710-5234.