McGuinty Government Taking Action On Domestic Violence
$3.5 Million For Second-Stage Housing For Women And Children Escaping Abuse
QUEEN'S PARK -- Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty today announced the first steps in a long-term action plan to fight domestic violence that includes $3.5 million for second-stage housing supports for women and children escaping abusive relationships.
"We are taking action to protect women and children from domestic violence," said Premier McGuinty.
"We are committed to building safe and strong communities, and a community is only as safe as the homes within it, and a community is only as strong as the support it offers its most vulnerable citizens."
The Premier announced the government will:
Provide $3.5 million in additional funding to create second-stage housing supports for women and children who are ready to leave shelters.
Invest $4.9 million in a four-year public education and awareness campaign designed to mobilize communities to break the cycle of violence.
Improve training for police officers, Crown attorneys and others working in the criminal justice system to better assess risk in abusive situations.
Continue to work together to fight domestic violence by holding a provincial conference that will allow community leaders, experts and service providers to share best practices.
"Domestic violence will not be tolerated," said Sandra Pupatello, the Minister Responsible for Women's Issues, who will chair a new ministerial committee that will lead a government-wide fight against domestic violence.
"In the short term, we are finding better ways to protect women and children. In the long term, we want to reduce the incidence of domestic violence."
The initiatives are the result of a provincewide consultation conducted by the Premier's parliamentary assistant, the MPP for Etobicoke-Lakeshore, Laurel Broten, who met with more than 180 experts and front-line workers, and will continue her work as part of the ministerial committee.
"We have restarted a dialogue with groups whose voices had been ignored for too long, so we can work together to break the cycle of violence," Broten said.
The Premier added: "These are significant steps that represent a change in attitude and approach. They are steps in the right direction. Yet they are first steps. Our work will continue until women and children no longer live in fear."