COVID-19 and intimate partner violence: the implications of the pandemic on women's shelters in Atlantic Canada
LE3 .A278 2022
Bachelor of Arts
This thesis explores how women’s shelters serving survivors of intimate partner violence in Atlantic Canada were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Intimate partner violence is a persistent and widespread issue in Atlantic Canada: every year, thousands of women seek refuge and support from women’s shelters when fleeing abusive relationships. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 came increased incidents of severe intimate partner violence with implications on the work of the women’s shelter sector. This thesis reviews published information from violence against women’s organizations in Canada during the pandemic to discuss how the regular service provision of women’s shelters was affected and thereby adapted. I found that the challenges women's shelters face during ‘normal’ times, including deficiencies in funding and shelter capacity, were exacerbated during the pandemic. The experiences of staff at women’s shelters during the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates that without adequate and stable government funding and without investment in infrastructure for the sector, the current shelter system will continue to be insufficient to meet the needs of Canadian women fleeing violence.
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