COVID-19 Violence Against Women Services

A Message from the Four “Violence Against Women” (VAW) Shelters in Durham Region

April 24th, 2020

During the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the essential services of the four “Violence Against Women” (VAW) shelters in Durham Region are open to support women with and without children who are experiencing violence and abuse. We manage our bed counts and capacity issues daily and the availability of beds can change frequently. We do not want the fear that a bed might not be available to stop a woman from reaching out to us for the specialized support we can provide.

Our trained and experienced counselors are there to take their calls 24/7, helping them identify their options and resources.

Women can reach us at…
The Denise House
905-728-7311 or 1 – 800 -263 – 3725
905 576 2997 or 1 – 888 – 576 – 2997
Herizon House
905-426-1064 or 1 – 866 – 437 – 4066
Bethesda House
905-623-6045 or 1 – 800 – 338 – 3397

Durham Region – Violence Against Women
COVID- 19 Temporary Service Interruptions/Changes

May 4th, 2020
Violence Against Women (VAW) ASSISTANCEIn response to VAW shelters being at capacity and additional complications
resulting from Covid-19 there is funding and supports available to help women access safe hotel/motel rooms.

Victims of gender-based violence or trafficking
who are in need of supports or emergency accommodation can call Victim Services at
905-441-9202 or
Ontario Works in Whitby at 905-666-6239 during normal business hours.
Bethesda House 

24 hour support line remains open with counselors available to provide support, information and safety planning as needed.
Administration line
Ext 206
The shelter is currently at capacity and unable to bring in new clients at this time,


a) Our 24-hour support line remains open. Trained & supportive counselors are available to help with safety planning and provide
information and resources. Women may call back as often as needed. All calls are free, respectful and confidential.
Call: 1-800-338-3397

b) Our Community Outreach Counselor and Housing Support Worker are available to provide telephone counselling or help navigating the housing system, filling out housing forms, etc. To arrange for these supports, please call the 1-800 number above.

Our administration line remains open during business hours (905-623- 6045, Ext 206). Please leave a message and we will call you back as soon as possible.
DRIVEN is open every Monday, excluding statutory holidays, from 8:30am-4:30 pm.

DRIVEN operates under a hub model of service, providing wrap around support to any individual that identifies as female and has been affected by any form of gender-based violence. During COVID-19, we are still available to provide phone support on Mondays.

Our phone number is 905-432-7233. Our email is It’s important to note that our phone and email are not monitored Tues-Fri.

DRIVEN provides a number of supports including housing, counselling, safety planning, connection to legal support,
connection to financial support, connection to settlement and newcomer support, connection to employment support, and many other supports through our on-site and off-site partners.
Victim Witness Assistance Program
-Most trials are postponed until June
-No in-person meetings at the courthouse
-Bail hearings continue on all new arrests
-Outreach will continue for all new files and urgent issues as they arise
-Telephone or Skype appointments only
-If clients have questions about upcoming court cases, call the main VWAP number
for more information 905-743-2790
Luke’s Place

Call for a comprehensive telephone consultation 905-728-0978 ext 221

In case of emergency call 911 or the Assaulted Women’s Hotline at 866-925-4419
-Monday walk-in clinic and courthouse walk-in services are closed from March 16
-latest service notifications and social media

Services still available via phone contact: 905-728-0978 ext 221

Pro bono clinic services are still available

Enhanced support for women who need urgent or emergency access to the courts made possible through Durham lawyer roster and new Ontario Bar Association partners

In case of emergency call 911 or the Assulted Women’s Hotline at 1-866-863-0511

Family court survival workbook for women:
Legal information, news and strategies for women and their advocates:

Family law webinars:

Information about other legal issues relevant to the COVID-19 crisis (e.g. housing,
Victim Services
905-721-4226 or 1-888-579-1520 Ext. 3400
NOTE: On Monday May 18th our office will be closed, we will still be available to be called out by police 24/7 and for those who need to access the hotel funds the after hours number can be called.

Victim Services of Durham Region (VSDR) is supporting individuals and families victimized by gender- based violence and who need immediate housing support during COVID-19.

If you have a client that is a victim/survivor of gender-based violence that needs immediate accommodations during the pandemic, VSDR can support through the hotel/motel program. Food and transportation will also be
arranged as needed.

Clients will be supported by VSDR and connected to appropriate community
partners which could include, Income Support, Housing Services, and Shelter
Outreach Workers.

The Eligibility Criteria for Accessing this Program Includes:
•Client (inclusive of client and children) is a victim of gender-based violence with a current threat for their safety in their current place of residence
•Client would be appropriate to refer to a shelter if available
•Client is a Durham Region resident
•Clients do NOT need prior connections with Income Support, DRPS, etc. to access this funding

To Access this Program:
Monday-Friday 9am-5 pm (Business Hours) Please call Kira McDonald at

Monday-Thursday 5pm- 9am and Friday 5pm to Monday at 9am (After
Business Hours and on Weekends) Please call Hailey Collins at 905.925.7202
Durham Rape Crisis Centre

Contact:, visit or call 905-668-9200
Our counselling services are for women and women-identified survivors of sexual violence who are 16 years of age and older.

Currently we are intaking new clients and offering individual and group counselling on phone or secure video. (Clients can also begin intake but defer if they prefer to wait for in-person counselling sessions.)

Our Intake Worker, is Michaela and she can be reached at
905 444 9672 ext: 25
or (the best way) her e-mail is Our current wait time for individual counselling is 3 – 4 months, however once clients begin intake they can join groups (currently we have a meditation, yoga, youth survivors, and survivors circle all via zoom.)

These services are between
9 – 5, Monday –Friday.

Our crisis and support line is for any survivor of sexual violence aged 16 or
older. It operates 24/7 and staffed by trained volunteers. The number is
905 668 9200.
Our email address is also available at for general information or
information about public education.
Durham Regional Police

-Continue to access police services as normal
-Emergency Call 911
-Front doors of all police stations will be locked.
-Individuals are granted entry after a short screening for purpose of visit
Durham Counselling Walk-in
Effective immediately the Clinic is suspending operations until further notice
Visit for updates and other resources for support
The Denise House
(Shelter for Women)

24-hour support/help line remains open: 1-800-263-3725
Remains open for existing clients but is at capacity and won’t be offering space
to new clients until further notice. However our staff are available to answer
our crisis help line and can provide crisis counselling, support and safety

Outreach workers continue to provide counselling by phone.
Please call 905-728-7311 or 1-800-263-3725.
Catholic Family Services

Existing clients can access support by phone: 905-725-3513 1-877-282-8932
For continued updates and information go to
-All group programs and in-person sessions are suspended
-New Client intake is currently suspended
Durham Children’s
Aid Society

Referrals can be made as always, 24/7 Contact 905-433-1551
-CAS office is open to provide essential services
-All in person meetings and events are cancelled (including family visits)
-Building is closed and accessible by appointment only
-Staff are available by phone or email 905-433-1551
-Call for updates or to reach a staff member (or email)·
Herizon House
Admin: 905-426-1064 or
Crisis Line: 1-866-437-4066
Remains open for existing clients but is at capacity and won’t be offering space to new clients until further notice. Outreach workers are providing counselling by phone. Please call 905-426-1064 or 1-866-437-4066.