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Isolation 'exactly where danger lies' for those in violent home situations: Shelter Movers Ottawa

The local organization continues to help women find shelter amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Photo/ iStock

Shelter Movers Ottawa says self-isolation and domestic violence are a bad combination.

At a time when health and government officials are telling residents to stay home as much as possible to prevent COVID-19 spread, Shelter Movers Ottawa Director Wendy Mitchell says home can be exactly where danger lies for some.

"Isolation is really that powerful tool that an abuser has," Mitchell explains.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, she and her team of local volunteers continue to work with shelters across Ottawa to find spaces for people needing to get out of violent home situations.

Mitchell is urging anyone in an abusive home to call a local crisis line. She's also asking that residents check in on friends or family members they suspect could be in trouble.

"We've already been hearing that, in China there was a surge of family violence as [the pandemic situation] progressed," says Mitchell. "We want to make sure that we can help people here, before that happens." 

The director says Shelter Movers Ottawa provides free moving and storage services for women fleeing violence in the home.

In just a couple of years operating in Ottawa, they have moved 350 people. Mitchell adds that they could provide the service every day if they had more resources -- that's how high the demand is.

It costs Shelter Movers Ottawa $200 to help someone move. That covers the cost of vehicles, storage and moving materials. Visit for more information.

Mike Vlasveld

About the Author: Mike Vlasveld

Mike Vlasveld, Digital Editor, CityNews Ottawa & the Valley
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