Crime Prevention Ottawa – COVID-19 Safety Issues

Please see below an e-mail from Crime Prevention Ottawa concerning safety at home for women living with violence and a survey of Canadian perceptions of safety, both related to COVID-19.

Demand for Ottawa’s secure chat and text service for women living with violence doubles expectations in first month

More than 300 people have reached out for support during the first month of operations for Unsafe at Home Ottawa. This secure text and online chat service aims to give women living with domestic violence and abuse the support they need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Available 7 days a week from 8:30 am to midnight, it uses safe, encrypted technology to ensure that conversations are confidential and secure when someone reaches out for help. Trained counsellors provide advice, referrals and support in English and French.

Here’s the breakdown of support offered in the chats:

  • Safety planning: 32% (includes 2 individuals supported in leaving a violent situation)
  • Other: 32% (for example, friends and family reaching out for support)
  • Emotional support: 20%
  • Practical support: 7%
  • Support with basic needs: 5%
  • Legal support: 3%
  • Financial support: 1%

The service was launched on April 14, 2020 by Crime Prevention Ottawa (CPO), the Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women (OCTEVAW), Interval House of Ottawa, the Eastern Ottawa Resource Centre, and Victim Services of Ottawa, with communications support from the Ottawa Police Service.

Read the full results in the Newsroom at Please continue to share this important resource.

Unsafe at Home Ottawa – Text (613) 704-5535
Chat online

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Impacts of COVID-19 on Canadians’ Perceptions of Safety

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many questions have been raised about its impact on Canadian society. In order to address this information need, Statistics Canada has developed short crowdsourcing questionnaires to collect information on specific topics related to the impacts of the pandemic. From May 12 to 25 2020, Statistics Canada will be collecting information on the Impacts of COVID-19 on Canadians’ Perceptions of Safety.

Canadians are invited to provide their perspective on the current crisis, by sharing their perceptions of safety, crime and violence in their community during the pandemic. Results will be used by governments and other organizations to evaluate the need for services and assistance programs to support individuals, families, and communities during and after the pandemic.

In this rapidly evolving situation, we are hoping that the information collected will provide insight into the impacts that COVID-19 is having on the sense of safety Canadians feel in their communities. We expect to publish results in mid-June.

Link to complete the survey – Please share with your colleagues, networks and friends!

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