Experiences of IPV and Housing Insecurity Among Young Women and Mothers During COVID-19: Mobilizing for Enhanced Service Delivery

Barata, Paula C | $148,132

Ontario University of Guelph 2021 CIHR Operating Grant

Stay-at-home orders that were put in place during the COVID‑19 pandemic put some families at greater risk. For example, victims of family violence would find it difficult to access supports if the abuser was home all day and the increased stress of the pandemic could create tension that could make the violence worse. In fact, some have referred to this as the shadow pandemic and the pandemic paradox. This project will examine how family violence against women was impacted during this time, and how organizations that support these women adapted in order to continue to support their clients. Two studies are proposed. The first study will collect the most relevant information that already exists in the literature about how COVID‑19 impacted family violence. It will synthesise this literature and identify important patterns such as who was most impacted and what supports were most useful. The second study will conduct interviews with young women and mothers who have experienced family violence. From these interviews we will extract patterns to identify the challenges and supports that they encountered when trying to seek help during the pandemic. In particular, we will identify patterns such as gaps in services that could increase homelessness and places where changes in service provision were helpful. This project will be a joint effort between researchers, community organizations, and women who have experienced family violence. By working together, we will learn from each other and help ensure that the information gained is useful to policymakers, advocates, and service providers. We have also integrated a number of strategies to help ensure a collaborative process that will lead to actionable recommendations to improve the lives of women that have experienced family violence.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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