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Did you know gender-based violence (GBV) is not limited to physical abuse? Survivors experience a wide range of types of violence and abuse, including physical, sexual, emotional, financial, and coercive control.
No matter their background, identity, or circumstance, abuse can happen to anyone. Unfortunately, many survivors across Ontario may not be aware of the vital support systems available.
Most survivors may need to access multiple services when seeking support related to violence and abuse. In seeking safety and assistance that speaks to them, they may often encounter barriers in system navigation that stop them from connecting with the most relevant supports.
One support system, for example, is counselling available at local GBV agencies—which can be found on mulberry, a one-stop hub for information on GBV and support services.
The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated barriers to connecting with support, making it more difficult for survivors to access vital resources, especially during a time when GBV was on the rise due to quarantine measures and changing health and safety procedures. Coming out of the pandemic, mulberry seeks to make it easier than ever before for survivors and their support groups to get help when and where they need it. Mulberry also includes supports and resources for men related to GBV, including parenting supports, healthy masculinity programming, and services specifically for those who have caused harm in relationships.
By reducing the barriers to support, mulberry allows survivors to easily and effectively access the services they need to heal and thrive. Survivors engaging with multiple systems and services, such as shelter, the criminal justice system and family court services, as well as support services for children and youth, employment, and income services, can find everything they need in one place, with a mix of both web-based resources and platforms as well as mobile applications that can be downloaded on a smartphone or tablet.
The goal of the platform is to increase access to information about services to improve safety outcomes for survivors and connect those who perpetrate harm with support that can intervene and prevent future violence from occurring.
Moreover, mulberry is also a crucial resource for family members, friends, coworkers, and even neighbours—often vital resources to safety and services within the community—and service providers specializing in GBV. Anyone can access mulberry and be a bridge to safety by learning about the support available to survivors and how they can get involved in the healing process.
For those who don’t know where to start or may be seeking support for the very first time, mulberry makes it easy to find the information you need—whether you are looking for some support over chat, a 24-hour crisis line, or a shelter. From there, visitors can find a detailed list of GBV services, focused on immediate safety, prevention, and longer-term support.
Beyond mulberry’s information on direct GBV supports and services available through social service organizations, the platform also offers non-traditional services like peer support groups, faith and cultural-based services. Options for accessing trained crisis counsellors through provincial crisis lines are offered on every page of the mulberry platform. Unique filtering options allow users to search for services by type, location, language, if services are available in-person, virtually or if services are mobile. An all-in-one platform like mulberry works to ensure that no community member is left behind.
Ultimately, mulberry is more than a website; it’s an opportunity for new growth, new knowledge and safer tomorrows. At the root of mulberry is the hope that for many survivors across Ontario, safety starts here.
Safety Starts Here.
Visit mulberryfinder.ca to learn more about the GBV services in your community.
mulberry provides contact information for a variety of services, including emergency women’s shelters, sexual assault centers, community GBV services and many more.