Edmonton Catholic Social Services is asking for public support to help women and children in need.
A sharp increase in domestic violence in Edmonton has prompted Catholic Social Services (CSS) to seek public support to help women and children in need.
“We have a phantom pandemic,” said Patricia Vargas, director of a shelter at CSS.
“For many women, it’s about facing the unknown, about being told to stay home. Also knowing that many services have closed.”
Domestic violence calls rose 15% in Edmonton in 2020, CSS officials said.
They have helped 227 people at their two shelters since April, but the pandemic has made it harder to provide safe spaces.
“Shelters are facing issues such as increased staff turnover and isolation requirements, and reduction in shelter capacity precipitated by physical distancing requirements and epidemics,” the spokesperson wrote. Laura Ruddock in a statement.
A woman named Sherry turned to CSS for help ending an abusive relationship. She spoke to CTV News Edmonton on condition that her identity be protected.
âMy last drop in leaving my abusive relationship was when he almost killed me,â she said.
Sherry and her three children have found refuge, protection and support at CSS, she said.
“It was preparing and equipping me to be a single mom. I’m going to have to do things on my own. People need to know that there is help, that there is hope.”
Officials did not provide the exact amount of donations needed, but contributions can be made on their website.
Catholic Social Services has been providing assistance to Albertans for 60 years.
With files from Touria Izri of CTV News Edmonton