Government Invests In Services For Victims Of Sexual Violence
Improved access to information and services means real, positive change for victims
TORONTO -- The McGuinty Government is giving victims of sexual assault and violence access to the help they need by investing in enhanced programs and services, Attorney General Michael Bryant announced today as part of Sexual Assault Prevention Month.
"Sexual violence against women and children has no place in our homes or in our communities," said Bryant. "These grants will make a real difference for victims and their families by improving access to the information and services they need most."
The government is investing $1.6 million from the Victims' Justice Fund, money collected through a victim fine surcharge applied to provincial and federal fines and solely dedicated to providing services for victims. This investment will provide assistance to 18 community-based agencies to support programs and services across Ontario for victims of sexual assault and sexual violence, including:
- Counselling and workshops for victims;
- Creation of a peer support network for survivors of sexual assault within diverse communities;
- An educational campaign about commercial sexual exploitation of children;
- Co-ordination of services for victims of sexual violence; and
- The development of a handbook for parents and youth victims of sexual violence.
"We're very pleased to receive this assistance," said Ewa Deszynski, Executive Director of the Toronto Child Abuse Centre. "This grant will allow us to provide a very important service that is desperately needed by children and youth who have been victims of abuse."
"A community cannot be healthy and strong if the women who live there do not feel safe," said Sandra Pupatello, Minister Responsible for Women's Issues. "We need to be talking about the problem of sexual assault. Today's investment is going to put greater supports in place to reach out to these women and get them the help they need."