The Fernie Women’s Resource Centre is continuing to offer their vital services to women and children in the community. Paige Mueller/The Free Press

The Fernie Women’s Resource Centre is continuing to offer their vital services to women and children in the community. Paige Mueller/The Free Press

Fernie Women’s Resource Centre continues to meet community needs

The centre will continue to offer their vital community services amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

While social distancing, self isolation and quarantines can be a difficult and frightening time for everyone, there are members of our population who might be put in direct danger as a result of the government’s calls to stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Government of British Columbia, intimate partner violence is the most common kind of violence experienced by women in the province. Women in rural areas experience even higher overall rates of intimate partner violence, with rates close to four times higher than those for men in the same area.

With COVID-19 forcing everyone to stay at home, it raises the question, how will the virus impact those experiencing domestic violence and intimate partner violence?

“It’s well established that sexualized violence, intimate partner violence and child abuse increase dramatically when disasters such as the current COVID-19 pandemic strike, as well as in the recovery times post emergency,” explained Lauren Fox, executive director of the Fernie Women’s Resource Centre (FWRC). “It’s important that we stay connected with our clients and continue to provide as much service as possible during the coming days, weeks and months as the impact of COVID-19 continues to unfold.”

Although they, like everyone else, have been forced to alter the way they support women in the valley, the FWRC is still working hard to ensure women, children and vulnerable populations in our region stay safe.

Fox noted that the centre is still operating, albeit in a different fashion. They are taking phone calls from Monday to Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. and working more online.

“We are also supporting clients electronically with email and video conferencing,” she said. “We are offering face to face support for essential services like help with safety planning, income, and housing. I would really encourage people to like our Facebook page as we are sharing a lot of info that way right now.”

Although the centre is still offering face to face support for essential services, they are keeping stringent measures in place to keep everyone involved safe and healthy. In a statement from the FWRC, they noted that they “are currently practicing good social distancing but also keeping the doors open to drop ins and in person counselling sessions.”

Anyone who has travelled in the last 14 days or who is either showing symptoms of the virus or living with someone who is showing symptoms is asked to not come into the centre but to reach out via phone or email instead.

“If they are symptom free we are welcoming people in the centre but only one at a time,” said the statement. “We are also sanitizing a lot. We are providing over the phone outreach support and are working on being able to provide online counselling services.”

For people who may be experiencing domestic violence, Fox encourages them to reach out to the FWRC during operating hours. Outside of operating hours Fox suggested contacting Elk Valley Safehomes by phone at 250-946-6004. This resource responds to calls 24 hours a day and texts from Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

In this time of great uncertainty, the FWRC is making sure to look out for those who might be in a dangerous situation. Fox noted that despite COVID-19, this essential service will continue to support women and children in any way that they can.

“At this point all of our programs will continue to run, just in different ways,” she said. “We will be offering a lot more support online and over the phone.”



editor@thefreepress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(File Photo)
Sparwood accepting submissions for 2021 Street Art Banner Program

Artwork depicting a love for Sparwood’s community and heritage will be accepted until Feb. 19

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

(File photo)
Interior Health declares COVID-19 outbreak at Teck’s Elk Valley operations over

48 cases were linked to three Teck locations in the Elk Valley

Joanna and Aysha Haines opened their business, Drift and Sonder, on Jan. 22. (Soranne Floarea)
New businesses popping up in Fernie despite pandemic headwinds

More businesses in Fernie have opened than closed their doors since the pandemic began

(File photo)
Sparwood backs calls to declare Canadian overdose crisis a national public health emergency

Paramedics across B.C. responded to more overdose calls in 2020 than ever before

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

Most Read