A new initiative to help women victims of domestic violence

Une nouvelle initiative pour aider les femmes victimes de violence conjugale

In confinement period, the risk of experiencing spousal violence is even more important. This is why The body to Handle, which serves Rimouski-Neigette-The Métis, introduced on Friday a new initiative in the pharmacies of the region to enable women who are experiencing domestic violence seek help from a staff member, confidentially.

“We were inspired by what was being done elsewhere, particularly in France, during the pandemic, where pharmacists have become resource persons for women victims of domestic violence, so that when they need to get out of the house, they could have the means to make a call discreetly,” explains the coordinator and co-manager of the organization, Marie Beauchesne.

Between the months of February and march, the level of calls has decreased by about 10% and has even declined in the past two weeks, according to the co-manager. Data of concern knowing that, according to a study by the United Nations (UN), one in five women is a victim of domestic violence.

In this difficult period, the financial insecurity, the stress, the decrease in the social circle and family problems can increase, which increases the risk of violent behaviour. A motion moved in all houses in Quebec to find solutions and to give more support to victims.

“There is a downward trend of calls in the shelters across Quebec. While one might think that one receives more calls for Resourcefulness, it is the opposite… we wonder what goes on behind closed doors”, she adds.

Pharmacies provide their help

Pharmacies participating in the project of The Handle have also installed posters inside and outside of their buildings in order to indicate the phone number to dial to reach quickly the body.

“If there is a woman in difficulty, it makes us a small word or a small sign and we can direct it to a safe place and call The Handle”, referred to Marie-Josée Lavoie, one of the pharmacists-owners of the Uniprix of the avenue de la Cathédrale, Rimouski.

A woman with a history of domestic violence encountered by the team of TVA News wanted to pass on a message to women who, like herself, would need help.

“I would not be here today if I hadn’t been Doing. I was so shy, so withdrawn that I was even able to say a word to a foreign person. Now, it’s moving quietly. Please do not hesitate to ask for help, because it is the best thing that you can do, the best solution to help you get started,” says Helen, who has made a call to Doing it a couple of years.

For the moment, three branches of Rimouski have accepted the partnership with The Doing: the Jean Coutu on the boulevard Jessop, the pharmacy Uniprix on avenue of the Cathedral and the Proxim on the boulevard Saint-Germain. In Mont-Joli, pharmacies Uniprix and Brunet, who operate behind closed doors and by delivery only, have also agreed to show the coordinates of the body on their entrance doors on the outside. Resourceful hope to be able to expand its partnerships with all the pharmacies in the region to support a greater number of women.

If you need help, do not hesitate to contact the services that are available at any time to respond to you.

Get: 418 724-5067

SOS violence conjugale: 1 800 363-9010

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