Restorative Justice – Domestic Incidence Response Urgency During COVID-19

WICC has continually supported grassroots organizations fighting violence against women through prayer, grants and resources.

Statistics reported by the Canadian government and Department of Justice over the last ten years consistently support our concern.

  1. Approximately every six days, a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner. Out of the 83 police-reported intimate partner homicides in 2014, 67 of the victims—over 80%—were women.
  2. On any given night in Canada, 3,491 women and their 2,724 children sleep in shelters because it isn’t safe at home. (Statistics Canada, 2014)
  3. It has a profound effect on children: Children who witness violence in the home have twice the rate of psychiatric disorders as children from non-violent homes. (
  4. It’s estimated that each year, Canadians collectively spend $7.4 billion to deal with the aftermath of spousal violence alone, according to the Department of Justice. This figure includes immediate costs, such as emergency room visits and related costs, such as loss of income. It also includes tangible costs such as funerals, and intangible costs such as pain and suffering. (Department of Justice, 2009)


Current concerns: In late April, Minister for Women and Gender Equality Maryam Monsef said that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the plight of women and families experiencing domestic violence. York Region, for example, reported a 22% increase in domestic incidents since stay at home measures were invoked. (York Regional Police, April 20, 2020)

We invite all readers to examine our online resources which can be helpful for addressing this urgent concern.  An introductory podcast to RESTORE: Ending Violence Against Women hosted and created by Cath MacKeil and Carol Penner, was announced in December 2019. Go to to explore all related materials.


Note: Carol Penner, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of practical theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, ON.

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