LAWC reopens after sharp rise in calls during COVID-19
LONDON, ONT. -- Like many places it’s the new normal at the London Abused Women's Centre (LAWC), with many people in the office wearing face masks and protective gloves.
When the LAWC reopened Tuesday after being closed for two months, they implemented new COVID-19 measures to ensure safety.
“Now, coming in, the woman has her temperature taken and she fills out a health questionnaire,” said Megan Walker, the centre’s executive director. “If she gets through that, she gets gloves and a face mask.”
Many of the offices and interview rooms have now been set up with plastic barriers to help with physical distancing.
Walker says during the outbreak and period of self-isolation there has been a dramatic jump in the number of calls for help.
“There’s nothing worse than a woman being isolated with her abuser all day,” said Walker. “And in the month of April we saw a 47 per cent increase in the number of women reaching out for service and we have to respond to that.”
Walker says it cost $20,000 to make all of the office changes needed, and much of the money was provided by the United Way Elgin Middlesex.
Walker adds, “For me it's extremely satisfying to know that women can come in the doors, with or without and appointment and we're going to make sure that they're served.”