International research has documented the increase in domestic violence and child abuse
during crises such as the current pandemic. Last year when the entire world rushed into different variations of lockdown, many victims of domestic violence and abuse suddenly found themselves in even more precarious situations.
Canada's Assaulted Women's Helpline, Between April 1 and Sept. 30, received 51,299 calls, compared to 24,010 in the same time in 2019
Family violence during a pandemic is associated with many factors including economic stress, increased exposure to exploitative relationships, and reduced options for support. With this amplified vulnerability during the last year, calls to helplines have doubled, and there is an overwhelming need for emergency shelter space for women and their dependents.
There is a shortage of rentals available here in Ottawa, and those that are available are not within the budget of those seeking refuge.
Meeting A Need For Ottawa Women’s Shelters
In 1976, Interval House of Ottawa (IHO) opened its doors in a small home with four beds. It was Ottawa's first shelter for women fleeing abuse.
Since that time, IHO has grown to house 10 women and their dependents in accessible, comfortable, private family bedrooms. By 2016, they had served more than 3200 women and 4000 dependents in their shelter, and countless more through their own crisis line and Transitional & Housing Support Program.
This year, by raising money for new housing renovations, an additional 8 women and up to 32 children can be safely accommodated, nearly matching their existing capacity.
They are providing safe shelter and support, intervention and prevention services, and advocacy to break the cycle of violence.
Buy a Gift, Give A Gift
As we transition from Winter to Spring, let’s help transition women to a safe, secure environment where they can also bloom.
On March 27th and 28th, our lightweight scarves are on sale for 15% off.
Then, 15% of our total scarf sales are being donated to IHO to help bolster their renovation.
In addition, a portion of every sale simultaneously occurring on the 27th and 28th is going to this same Furbishing Fund.
Any item you purchase for yourself, or as a meaningful gift for another with Spring celebrations on the horizon can be made online, or in-store at our brick-and-mortar location in Westboro.
UPDATE! With your support, we were able to donate a box of home furnishing or Poko textiles to help the women and their children who will be living in their two new units feel dignity and comfort at home! (Click here to watch our operations team pack up the box!)
Thank you for your purchases - we’re so grateful for the generosity of our community in support of the health of our community. Because everyone deserves to feel comfort in their home.
Interval House Ottawa also has a list of in-need items that you can donate.
Right now they are seeking:
Baby shampoo and soap
Toys (there is an increased demand for toys and stem learning supplies to assist in social distancing for the children currently staying at IHO)
Size 6 diapers
Stem learning supplies
Reusable face masks
For an extended list of items, please visit their website here.
Looking for more ways to contribute? A donation of only $8 provides a family with a meal. You can support monetarily here.
We believe everyone deserves to feel dignity, safety and joy in their homes - your purchase gives back so we as a community can move forward.