Hawkesbury, November 25, 2020 – Each year, November 25 marks the start of the “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence” campaign. Maison Interlude House (MIH) took advantage of this symbolic day to launch a new service in the Prescott-Russell area: an online texting and chat platform dedicated to women victims of violence. “Unsafe At Home” is an addition to the 24/7 crisis line, already offered by MIH.

In these pandemic times, social distancing and confinement, women who are victims of violence find themselves in a vulnerable situation. Often already isolated from their loved ones by their abuser, the victim is now alone with him at home almost 24 hours a day. “It was important for us to offer victims a more discreet and highly secure way to seek help, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” says Muriel Lalonde, Executive Director of MIH.

Simple, easy and safe

To use the service, nothing is simpler. Just visit www.unsafeathomepr.ca to sign in to a secure chat session with a qualified Maison Interlude House employee. At the same address, you will also find the telephone number to use if the victim prefers to communicate by text: 613.801.8169. MIH’s experienced support worker are listening 24/7, ready to advise women in situations of violence.
Unsafe At Home is based on a similar initiative in the Ottawa area. Thanks to the great collaboration of the Ottawa team, Prescott-Russell’s text and chat service was able to quickly see the light of day. The platform is also made possible thanks to the financial support of United Way of Eastern Ontario.

Unsafe at Home in Prescott-Russell will come into effect on December 6, another symbolic date for organizations fighting violence against women. December 6 marks the sad anniversary of the tragedy of the École Polytechnique de Montréal, a shooting that took the lives of 14 young women. It is also the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. December 6 is also designated as Day Without Violence by the United Counties of Prescott-Russell.

To this day, violence against women remains too prevalent in our society. Every 11 days in Ontario, a woman or child was killed by a man close to them. In Canada, every six days, a woman is killed by her spouse or ex-spouse.