COVID-19 measures may leave abused women ‘trapped’ at home

thoughtful young woman

The COVID-19 pandemic and the measures put in place to protect the public have left women in abusive relationships in a tough spot, say representatives from a Durham organization that provides family court support to abused women.

Journalist Reka Szekely interviewed Luke’s Place on the impact of COVID-19 on women living with violence. The article appears on

“It’s never easy for a woman to leave an abusive relationship… however both the virus itself and the measures being put in place to control its spread have a particularly challenging impact on women who are living with an abuser,” said Pamela Cross, legal director of Luke’s Place.

The closure of schools, libraries, community rec facilities and many work places means there is sometimes little reprieve for women in an abusive situation.

“They’re now in a position where they’re trapped at home with their children and an abusive spouse,” said Cross.

Cross continues:

“The family courts across Ontario are offering only limited services; they have suspended all regular operations which will make it very difficult for a woman who needs a custody order or a restraining order to get one. All of this makes women very vulnerable to ongoing abuse from a partner who’s not willing to let go of his control over her.”

Cross said Luke’s Place staff and pro bono legal professionals who work with the organization continue to offer services remotely via phone and Zoom.

Read the full article.

Learn more about Luke’s Place services during the crisis, safety tips for women living with violence and information on family court services in Ontario.

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