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Important COVID-19 Updates from EVA BC

Updates from the EVA BC Office:
Through these challenging times, EVA BC has adapted our work to ensure the safety of our staff, partners, and colleagues while doing what we can to continue our work.

To honour the BC and Canadian governments’ orders regarding physical distancing, EVA BC has moved predominately to remote-working until further notice.

Contact EVA BC Staff:
EVA BC staff are all still available online through email. Please visit our Contact Us Page to connect with specific staff. We are also checking our voice messages remotely, but to get the quickest response please contact us by email.

Trainings, Workshops, and Presentations:
EVA BC’s trainings, workshops, and presentations have either been postponed, rescheduled, cancelled, or moved to an online platform. EVA BC staff who coordinated the training, workshop and/or presentation have or will connect directly with registrants with updates.

EVA BC Listservs:
For our Member Programs, our Listservs are still live and we encourage those of you who are subscribed to connect with each other through the Listservs. For more information about the Listservs, please visit Join a Listservs.

EVA BC Updates:
Stay up to date with EVA BC. We will also continue to post updates, links, and media spotlights on EVA BC’s work on our website’s “What’s New” Feed. Please visit this feed for updates on EVA BC’s COVID-19 related work and responses.

Interim Third Part Response Protocol During COVID-19:
An Interim Third Party Reporting Protocol has been developed to provide guidance to CBVS and other designated programs regarding the provision of support to survivors to complete a Third Party Report while physical distancing measures and stay-at-home orders are in place.

Social Media and News:
We will continue posting to our Social Media feeds. Please visit our Facebook Page and our Twitter Page.

A Message From EVA BC Executive Director Tracy Porteous

March 19, 2020

Dear EVA BC Members, Colleagues, Partners, Friends, and Supporters:

I know we are all feeling the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, both in our personal and work lives. We felt it was important to reach out to all of you involved in the work of responding to, or supporting the response to, gender-based violence in BC.

We want to say that first and foremost, we hope you are safe and that you have found ways to physically distance yourself from others for your own safety and to contribute to #FlattenTheCurve. At the same time, we hope you are able to stay connected to the people you love and to the clients/community members who may need you right now.

Gender-based violence increases during disasters

Many of you will know that sexualized violence, intimate partner violence, and child abuse have been found to increase dramatically immediately when disasters strike, as well as in the short-, medium-, and long-term recovery times post-disaster. This has been true in areas where there have been earthquakes, forest fires, floods, hurricanes, tsunamis, and other disasters. This has been documented in BC and around the world.

The situation we currently face is unprecedented in its reach and in its potential period of impact. Those with expertise in the area of gender-based violence and disasters have helped us to understand that while the vast majority of people will rise to the occasion to assist others, there remains a small segment in society, those with histories of violence, who may try to take advantage of the vulnerability of others.

Additionally, because of the stress caused by loss of income or jobs, loss of housing and other losses, people who may have already acted out in violent or abusive ways may all be doing this at the same time. So, although disasters don’t cause people to act out in these ways, destabilizing factors can lead some to be short tempered and to lose control and others to be downright abusive and violent.

Please see our past EVA Notes on this subject.

We are ready to provide you even more support

Together, we have put in place many strong mechanisms in BC to assist those of you on the front lines with managing and mitigating risks from gender-based violence. Our collective hats continue to go off to you, the first responders to gender-based violence. It is our hope that your ICATs are able to carry on their work in ways that are safe, such as secure Zoom meetings or conference calls.

We hope that those who do not have an ICAT will know that EVA BC’s virtual doors remain open. We are ready to provide you even more support than on regular days. We are prepared with a full complement of staff, both from our EVA BC office and in our Community Coordination for Women’s Safety program.

New economic measures provide nation-wide support

On March 18, the Prime Minister of Canada announced a new set of economic measures to help stabilize the economy and help Canadians affected by the impacts of this challenging period. These measures, delivered as part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, will provide up to $27 billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses, plus $55 billion to meet liquidity needs of Canadian businesses and households through tax deferrals to help stabilize the economy.

Combined, this $82 billion in support represents more than 3 per cent of Canada’s GDP. This wide-ranging support will help ensure Canadians can pay for rent and groceries, and help businesses continue to pay their employees and their bills during this time of uncertainty.

$50 million to sexual assault centres, shelters and more

This includes $50 million to help sexual assault centres, shelters, and other community anti-violence programs in their capacity as first responders during the current health crisis, to prevent or manage outbreaks in your facilities and/or other COVID-19 related capacity impacts to gender-based violence. This, of course, includes funding for facilities and programs in Indigenous communities.

I just now got off the phone with Minister Monsef’s office [Maryam Monsef, federal Minister of Women and Gender Equality], which wanted to make sure we knew about this coming support and to assure us that they are working fast to get this funding into the gender-based violence response programs that need it. Please stay tuned in the coming days for more detail about where and how to apply for the funds. Bravo to Minister Monsef and Prime Minister Trudeau!!

BC Provincial Court to delay cases

You may have also heard the announcement from BC’s Provincial Court this past Monday. They let us know about their own response to COVID-19 that will entail putting forward some cases until May. While completely understandable, we want to let you know that if you are worried that such court date changes will impact anyone’s safety, we want to help — that is, if you are unable to find a resolution in your community.

Critical incident process to come

As soon as we can, we will be touching base with BC Prosecution Services, RCMP E Division, the BC Chiefs of Municipal Police, MCFD, and BC Corrections so that we can put in place a critical incident process to fasttrack anything that is urgent, life threatening or where severe violence is imminent. We are here to assist you, so please don’t hesitate to be in touch. Email is likely the best route.

We will continue to use these channels to provide you updates. Together, we are stronger and so while we all keep physical distance, let’s stay connected. Please also see below.

Until our next update, please stay safe and please know that EVA BC is with you.

Sincerely, Tracy

Information, Resources and Updates from Government and Other Organizations

BC Government:

Pandemic Preparedness Guide BC – BC Government

Electronic CVAP Application Forms – BC Government

Ministry of Children & Family Development Response to COVID-19 – BC Government, April 14 2020

COVID-19 Legal Questions – BC Government, April 9 2020

Temporary Emergency Child Care for Essential Workers – BC Government, April 6 2020

Interim Guidance to Social Service Providers for the Prevention and Control of COVID-19 in their Facilities – the Provincial Health Officer, April 4 2020

Letter to Social Sectors – the Provincial Health Officer, March 18 2020

Government of Canada:

Prime Minister announces expanded access to Canada Emergency Response Benefit and support for essential workers – Government of Canada, April 15 2020

Canada announces support to those experiencing homelessness and women fleeing gender-based violence during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic – Government of Canada, April 4 2020

List of COVID-19 Essential Services – BC Government, April 3 2020

Supreme Court of BC, Provincial Court:

Notice of Suspension of Civil and Family Proceedings Extension – Supreme Court of BC, April 16 2020

Supplementary Notice of Suspension of Regular Court Operations in Civil and Family Proceedings – Insolvency – Supreme Court of BC, April 2 2020

Notice of Suspension of Regular Court Operations – Provincial Court of BC, March 23 2020:

BC Society of Transition Houses:

Technology Safety Project’s Digital Services Toolkit – BC Society of Transition Houses

COVID-19 Health and Safety – BC Society of Transition Houses

Rise Women’s Legal Centre

Guidelines for Parenting during COVID-19 – Rise Women’s Legal Centre, April 7 2020

Legal Aid Services

Legal Aid Services – Legal Aid BC

West Coast LEAF:

Responding to COVID-19: Community in Action – West Coast LEAF

Toolkit for lawyers representing survivors of sexual assault – West Coast LEAF

The Federation of Community Social Services of BC

COVID-19 Information for Social Services – The Federation of Community Social Services of BC

Violence Against Women Learning Network

Resources on Gender-Based Violence and the COVID-19 Pandemic – Violence Against Women Learning Network

Mediate BC

Mediate BC quarantine conflict resolution service – Mediate BC

Sex Workers Safety:

COVID-19: Guidance for Sex Workers – BC Centre for Disease Control

COVID-19: Needs and Risk Assessment of Sex Workers in Metro VancouverAboriginal Front Door Society, Health Initiative for Men, PACE Society, WISH Drop-In Centre Society, Living in Community

Supports for Victims and Survivors of Gender-Based Violence

 VictimLinkBC: 1-800-563-0808

  • VictimLinkBC provides information and referral services to all victims of crime and immediate crisis supports to victims and survivors of family and sexual violence. VictimLinkBC is a toll-free, confidential, multilingual telephone service available in BC and the Yukon 24/7. 

 Anti-Violence Services in BC: https://endingviolence.org/need-help/services/

  • A directory list of front-line anti-violence programs in BC

 bc211: http://www.bc211.ca/ or dial 211

  • bc211 is a nonprofit organization that specializes in providing free information and referral regarding community, government and social services in BC.
  • 211 is a confidential, multilingual telephone and texting service available in Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Squamish-Lillooet, Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, and Sunshine Coast Regional Districts. 211 provides free information and referral to a full range of community, social, and government services, and operates 24/7.

 BC Society of Transition Houses: https://bcsth.ca/ 

  • The BC Society of Transition Houses is a member-based, provincial umbrella organization  that provides support to Transition, Second and Third Stage Houses, Safe Homes and PEACE (formerly Children who Witness Abuse) and Violence is Preventable programs.

BC Housing: https://www.bchousing.org/home

  • If you’re fleeing violence at home, you can find a list of safe homes/transition houses at this BC Housing link: https://www.bchousing.org/housing-assistance/women-fleeing-violence/transition-houses-safe-homes. The BC Government offers this assurance to victims of gender-based violence during the COVID-19 pandemic: “If you reach out for help, we will make sure there is a safe space during this emergency – no matter where you live in B.C.”. Currently, BC Housing is working with its partner organizations to support women and children who would otherwise be trapped at home in dangerous situations.
  • BC Housing develops, manages and administers a wide range of subsidized housing options across BC. They support individuals who are homeless, individuals with disabilities, Indigenous individuals and families, women and children at risk of violence, low-income seniors and families, and buyers of new homes.

Legal Services Society:

MOSAIC: https://www.mosaicbc.org/ 

  • MOSAIC is a multilingual non-profit organization dedicated to addressing issues that affect immigrants and refugees in the course of their settlement and integration into Canadian society.
  • MOSAIC Translations staff continue to provide services over the phone and processing translation requests submitted by email or mail. For more information please call 604-254-0469. For Interpretation Services, call us at 604-254-8022 or email at interpretationservices@mosaicbc.org to book an interpreter or inquire about our services.

Representative for Children and Youth: https://rcybc.ca/

  • To speak with an RCYBC Advocate, call 1-800-476-3933
  • If you feel a child is in danger and requires protection, please call the Children’s Help Line from anywhere in B.C. to get help immediately (no area code necessary). Children’s Help Line: 310-1234

WAVAW Rape Crisis Centre: wavaw.ca

  • 24-Hour Crisis and Information Line 604-255-6344
  • For immediate crisis assistance, call 604-255-6344 in the Lower Mainland or call WAVAW’s national toll-free line at 1-877-392-7583

Mediate BC quarantine conflict resolution service:

  • Roster Mediators from across BC are offering their services at significantly discounted rates for resolving conflicts arising from quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19. More information about the Quarantine Resolution Service may be found on Mediate BC’s website. 

Electronic CVAP Application Forms:

  • These new Crime Victim Assistance Program application forms allow applicants to sign electronically and email the form to CVAP without having to print – BC Government Webpage.

COVID-19 Resources from EVA BC

As part of an ongoing series, we offer these Informational and Display Materials that address gender-based violence during COVID-19. We invite you to use and/or share these widely.

Bulletins

Black-and-white versions are available upon request.

COVID-19 Workplace Health, Safety and Wellness Plan

EVA BC has created a COVID-19 Workplace Health, Safety and Wellness Plan to inform our agency’s safe return to work. We hope you find this document helpful as a resource to support your own workplace safety –COVID-19 Workplace Health, Safety and Wellness Plan.

COVID-19 Fact Sheet

Poster – Help Is Available

Be More Than A Bystander PSAs: COVID-19 and Gender-Based Violence

COVID-19 Support Report

 

Return To Work and Safety Protocols
Indigenous Communities - Responses and Resources

COVID-19 emergency resource site – First Nations Leadership Council

Latest News and Events – First Nations Health Authority

Métis Crisis Line – Métis Nation BC

List of BC Friendship Centres – BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres

April 20 2020: B.C. announces new health-care framework to better serve remote and Indigenous communities – CBC News

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Indigenous communities – Government of Canada

Resources shared by Indigenous and Northern partners – Government of Canada

COVID-19 in prisons stands to be a death sentence for overincarcerated Indigenous peoples – News Release, Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs

Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Must be Respected During COVID-19 – April 14 2020 News Release, Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs

GCIndigenous YouTube Account – Department of Indigenous Services Canada and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs

Impacts of the Pandemic on Mental Health and Wellness – First Nations Health Authority

 

Health and Wellness Resources

Grounding Circle for African, Black, and Caribbean Service Providers – offered by the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI)

BC First Responders’ Mental Health – links to resources and directories on supports for mental health and other guides

Bystander Intervention and Community Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic – a resource from the Antigonish Women’s Resource Centre and Sexual Assault Services Association

Impacts of the Pandemic on Mental Health and Wellness – First Nations Health Authority

Brio Integrative Health Blog – a health clinic offering daily live Facebook workshops and blog posts on their website. Topics include building immunity, boosting gut health, sleep hygiene, and much more, from the lens of health during COVID-19. Their Facebook Live workshops are posted on the Brio Facebook Videos page.

BC Insight Meditation Society – links to meditation sitting groups, retreats (many of them have moved to online platforms), and dharma talks in BC.

ACHIEVE Centre for Leadership and Workplace Performance Blog – articles with a focus on trauma-informed care in times of crisis, self-care, tips on communicating during this pandemic, and more, including: Stress Reduction Exercises.

WAVAW Colouring BookColouring Resistance: A colouring and activity book for healing from sexualized violence has pages for colouring and activities created with the hope that it can be a resource for survivors in their healing journeys from sexualized violence.

COVID-19 and Mental Health at Work – tips and links to resources from the Government of Canada.

Mental Health and Substance Use Support – a new national hub of tools and resources to support Canadians through COVID-19.

Webinars + Learnings

ONGOING! Decolonize First – Synthesize for Social Changeauthor/designer Ta7talíya Michelle Nahanee offers a workbook, links, and consultations for individuals and organizations on decolonizing practices. Workshops may be offered, keep an eye on their website or social media feeds.

COMING UP! Various webinars featuring new ideas and thought-leaders from the field of community change – Tamarack Institute

ONGOING! Indigenous Canada – A 12-lesson online course offered by the University of Alberta that explores Indigenous histories and contemporary issues in Canada.

Safely Re-Open Your Non-Profit – PDF of a webinar offered by Vancouver Coastal Health

COVID-19 and Health and Safety Responsibilities – PDF of a webinar offered by Vancouver Coastal Health

Resistance and Resurgence: Confronting Anti-Black Racism in Canada – Feminists Deliver webinar originally delivered June 8.

Panel Discussion – Supporting Survivors During COVID-19 – video of the livestream hosted on May 5 by Shelter Movers, with Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality; Paulette Senior, CEO of the Canadian Women’s Foundation; Samra Zafar, Survivor, Advocate and Author; and Marc Hull-Jacquin, Shelter Movers Founder and Executive Director.

Safe Choices Webinar: Addressing Domestic Violence in LGBT2SQ+ Communities Across BC – EVA BC’s Safe Choices LGBT2SQ+ Support and Education Program

Considerations for Anti-Violence Programs Using Technology During the COVID-19 Pandemic – BC Society of Transition Houses. If you were unable to attend but would like the recording, provide your information here.

Sexual and Domestic Violence during COVID-19 BC Federation of Labour. A video recording and transcript of a community conversation that took place April 9, with representatives from BC Federation of Labour, BWSS Battered Women’s Support Services, WAVAW-Rape Crisis Centre, and Ending Violence Association of British Columbia.

Webinar on COVID – 19 and Indigenous Communities – Indigenous Climate Action & Idle No More

Working from Home During COVID-19 – ACHIEVE Centre for Leadership and Workplace Performance

Wet’suwet’en Virtual Teach-InUBC Learning Circle

Webinar on Parent Coaching Through Telehealth – MSU Autism Lab

Tackling Your Top Concerns About Coronavirus – HRDownloads

Mental Health and Resilience During COVID-19 – ACHIEVE Centre for Leadership and Workplace Performance

 

General Information and Resources about COVID-19

BC’s Restart Plan – BC Government

Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada’s main page on COVID-19 – the Government of Canada’s main page for information on COVID-19 along with updates, advice, and response strategies.

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Q/A page on COVID-19 -this resource can support you in understanding what COVID-19 is, how it is transmitted, and how to take precautions, along with any other frequently asked questions about the virus.

Informative graphic on the best way to wash your hands to prevent the spread of COVID-19 – Public Health Agency of Canada.

Informative page/graphic on knowing the difference between self-monitoring, self-isolation, and isolation, COVID 19 – Public Health Agency of Canada.

COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool – BC Government

The Government of Canada is taking steps to reduce the financial burden of the COVID-19 outbreak. Want to know your economic options and what economic measures the Government of Canada is taking to support you during the COVID-19 outbreak? Check what options you might have here. Some applications will be available in April 2020.

Dedicated COVID-19 CTV coverage – Stay up to date on all the latest news related to COVID-19 in Canada and around the world.

Financial Assistance During COVID-19 – A list of available resources and services from Feminists Deliver.

Guidelines for Parenting during COVID-19 – A resource from Rise Women’s Legal Centre

Advice on using home-made masks – Public Health Agency of Canada

Explainer on Government COVID-19 Benefits – Adrienne Smith Law

COVID-19 Supports for People & BusinessesBowenn Ma MLA, North Vancouver-Lonsdale

Financial help for Canadians affected by COVID-19 – CBC hub of benefits the federal government, provinces and territories are offering to people financially affected by the coronavirus.

Pandemics and Gender-Based Violence

Please find links to articles and papers with the focus on the impacts of pandemics on gender-based violence.

May 10 2020: Violence against Indigenous women during COVID-19 sparks calls for MMIWG plan – CBC

April 2020: Pandemics and Violence Against Women and Children – Centre for Global Development Paper

April 6 2020: Global Lockdowns Resulting In ‘Horrifying Surge’ In Domestic Violence, U.N. Warns – NPR

2020 Publication: COVID-19 and Ending Violence Against Women and Girls – UN Women Publication

April 6 2020: Violence Against Women and Girls: The Shadow Pandemic – UN Women Article

March 28 2020: Lockdowns around the world bring rise in domestic violence – The Guardian

March 19 2020: The Coronavirus Is a Disaster for Feminism – The Atlantic

 

Working From Home and Technology Safety

Articles on working from home:

A growing number of STV Counsellors are offering counselling services using video conferencing services such as Zoom or Skype. Here are some attachments that may offer some helpful ideas:

EVA BC Info Bulletin:

As always, thank you for the difficult work you do to support survivors, and please continue to contact us here at EVA BC with questions, concerns and ideas on how best to get through these difficult times, and help your clients to get through them as well. We would love to hear any suggestions you have that were not included here.