Domestic violence around the globe, including Cochrane, has become more prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At this Friday's Cochrane Ideas session, Patti Fisher, co-founder and program manager of Big Hill Haven, Emergency Shelter and Outreach Services for women, will be addressing the topic in her presentation entitled, "Pandemic with a Pandemic: how COVID-19 has aggravated domestic violence in our communities."

Every six days in Canada a woman is murdered by her past or current intimate partner. Growing evidence reveals the pandemic has made intimate partner violence even more prevalent. Reports of domestic abuse and family violence have increased around the world since social isolation and quarantine measures came into force. The issue is local, too!

In her role, Fisher assists women who are experiencing and/or fleeing domestic violence. A registered social worker, she has worked in the corporate sector and the non-profit field with vulnerable individuals and families for over 35 years. She has done front-line work with clients, managed residential programs and served on numerous boards.

In her work, Fisher has observed that there are a small number of key challenges that are common to all marginalized populations.

She is a fierce advocate for women and children who are caught in the cycle of domestic violence. The work being done at the shelter can be heartbreaking, but Fisher believes the team at Big Hill Haven plays a big part in improving the lives of its clients.

In her presentation, Patti will address the following:

  • What is domestic violence? Why Cochrane? Why now?
  • What have been the biggest surprises? The biggest challenges?
  • How has the pandemic affected the situation? What is changing? Are there solutions?

Questions and group discussion will follow, and it's an important and appreciated aspect of what Cochrane Ideas provides to participants.

Cochrane Ideas meets monthly (except for a summer break) to discuss a broad range of relevant topics. They invite all interested people to attend.

Guest speakers and discussions over the years have focused on economic, social, environmental, political, historical, biographical, creative, artistic, personal, gender-based, religious, and spiritual topics.

Friday's session starts at 7 p.m. at King Solomon Hall, 120 Centre Ave.