Local services for sexual assault and domestic violence survivors ‘Still Here for You’

A full year after pandemic protocols were put in place, we are still being asked to stay safe at home. Sadly, some homes are not that safe. The Kingston Frontenac Anti-Violence Coordinating Committee (KFACC) reminds Kingston and area residents that services for victims of partner abuse and sexual violence and their families are “Still Here for You”.

The committee, which includes organizations working throughout the city of Kingston, Frontenac County, and in some parts of Lennox & Addington County, is launching the “Still Here for You” campaign to increase awareness of services available in the area.

The committee said the sectors they represent include shelter and housing, health, mental health, counselling support, law enforcement and justice. The different perspectives and expertise each sector brings to KFACC enables them to develop a full understanding of the challenges, issues and priorities for their clients, our communities, and each other.

The KFACC Membership meets monthly, currently over Zoom, to share information and ideas, and problem solve.

“Survivors are at the centre of all we do,” the committee said in an email to Kingstonist. “The issues we address are challenging, and real progress depends on a coordinated community response. The different perspectives and expertise we each bring to this work provides us with a deeper and more complete understanding of the priorities, barriers, gaps, and opportunities for our clients, our communities, and one another.”

KFACC is concerned that the community may not be aware that service providers are still open and available for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence (SA/DV) in KFL&A.

“The isolation of the pandemic has created more difficulty to access services for some people,” said Kim Irvine-Albano, Co-Chair of KFACC and Director of Clinical Programing at Resolve Counselling Services Canada. “We are all very busy! Remote counselling has created a challenge for some women to find a safe place to talk to their counsellor by phone or video when home is not safe. Our campaign is to remind women that we understand the challenges, and that we are still here for you in this difficult time. We want women to know that when it is safe for them to do so, to contact us for support.”

The committee said some of their service providers have had people ask if they are still offering services to clients during the pandemic.

“We want to clear up any confusion that may be out there. Shelters, support services and counselling services continue during the pandemic,” Irvine-Albano said. “Agencies are able to offer in-person counselling services to eliminate barriers to women when required. Shelters still are taking on residents. Abuse has not stopped, and neither have organizations offering support to clients. We want to remind women that they do not have to go through this alone.”

Community members can contact any of the agencies on the KFACC website list for support.

Image provided by KFACC.

“Our membership agencies work together to support victims of violence. We can work together to find the best fit for the client, and any agency can assist clients in determining that fit. We know that it may be confusing, knowing where to turn. Just turn to one of us and we can help you out,” Irvine-Albano continued.

“KFACC has recently committed to creating a centralized system for all services that a woman who has experienced intimate partner violence may require, such as shelter, counselling, legal support, housing support, financial support, etc. We are looking at funding opportunities, as we are aware that this is a need for our agencies,” she said.

To find support, visit the KFACC website, and their list of service providers.

This article is sponsored by the Kingston Frontenac Anti-Violence Coordinating Committee. If you are interested in a Business Feature on Kingstonist, contact [email protected]

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