GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of giving in response to the need caused by COVID-19, is a chance for us to come together to demonstrate the power of community care. Today we invite you to connect survivors to healing through your generosity.
Sexual assault is an isolating experience that disconnects survivors from a sense of stability and wellness. At VSAC we know that healing is about connection: to ourselves, our inner-strength and resiliency, and to each other.
Although we are physically distanced we are not socially distanced.
We are still here for survivors. Our counsellors and support workers are providing essential support services to survivors who need us now:
- Counselling and justice system support is available virtually and via phone;
- Immediate crisis support and medical attention for recent survivors is offered at our Sexual Assault Clinic, away from emergency rooms where forensic nurse examiners and our SART volunteers continue to practice physical distancing.
We provide non-judgmental support and options. We respect survivor’s confidentiality and choice at each step. But we need the help of our community to sustain these services.
COVID-19 is having a massive impact on the health and safety of survivors of sexualized violence.
The implementation of important public health directives to stay home has increased vulnerability for women, Trans, gender-nonconforming and Two-Spirit folks as well as sex workers who are more likely to experience violence in their living situations. Often during periods of uncertainty and stress, there is an increase in gender-based violence. For those who have experienced a historical sexual assault, these uncertain times can activate past trauma. Societal shame and fear of stigmatization is real and an additional barrier to support for those assaulted when not physically distancing – often people who are already socially marginalized.
While the pandemic touches all our lives, there is an urgent need to respond quickly and support those impacted by sexualized violence.
Please consider donating on GivingTuesdayNow to support survivors during this extraordinary time.