The Shadow Pandemic

Every six days, a woman is murdered by her intimate partner in Canada.

Tragically, this is simply the most extreme instance of the ongoing crisis of violence against women. Every single night, roughly 3,000 women — alongside their 2,900 dependent children — seek out emergency shelter to escape intimate partner violence.

COVID-19 has only made this violence worse.

The added stressors of the pandemic — lockdown, unemployment, uncertainty — have combined with sexism and financial inequality to create a Shadow Pandemic of violence against women.

With women’s shelters working at reduced capacity due to physical distancing measures, COVID-19 is trapping women and children in abusive homes and making it harder than before to and safety.

Violence against women is persistent, life-threatening — and on the rise.

Gender-based violence is not inevitable.

If we make it a priority, we can create meaningful change now to prevent and end violence against women.

With dedicated government policies, programmes and supports, we can create the change that vulnerable women and children need now. Canada has had a national Gender-Based Violence strategy since 2017, but Ontario has taken a step backward with the cancellation of the Roundtable on Violence Against Women in the fall of 2018.

YWCA Toronto is calling on the Ontario government to make up for lost time and act urgently to implement an Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence in our province.

Take action today!* 

Now is the time to act, as COVID-19 threatens to undo decades of advancement in women’s rights. Help YWCA Toronto speak up for women — and fight for an end to gender-based violence.

• Our petition is currently closed, but please feel free to reach out and urge Premier Ford and Ontario’s leaders to create a provincial Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence — to end the shadow pandemic and to keep women and children safe.