Sexual assault centre's crisis calls on the rise during pandemic
CALGARY -- Alberta COVID-19 cases are steadily climbing and much the same can be said about Lethbridge's Chinook Sexual Assault Centre Crisis Calls line.
“We are seeing a few more sexual assault calls coming forward. Our numbers have increased slightly since pre-COVID” said Chinook Sexual Assault Centre CEO Kristine Cassie.
From April 1 through September 24, the centre's crisis line has received a 121 calls. In 2019 that same period recorded 75 calls equating to a 61 per cent increase from 2019 to 2020.
The increase in call volume nearly mirrors the timeline of the global pandemic. Alberta declared a state of a public health emergency over the virus on March 17.
“The number of people who are accessing our services at the centre, some of that is attributed to the extra trauma they are experiencing because of COVID,” said Cassie. “The isolation that comes with happening to be in more of a lockdown state, what we experienced in March and April (due) to the restriction on movement.”
Cassie added that the centre's crisis call numbers could also be on the rise due to the fact that the centre is in its second year of operation.
For those who believe they are a victim of sexual assault or could be, employees at the Chinook Sexual Assault Centre encourage you to get a hold of them.
Victims can also drop by the Centre location: #502, 740 – 4th Ave South.