Ontario Expands Support for Survivors of Sexual Violence
Province Increases Annual Funding for Sexual Assault Centres by $1.75 Million
Ontario is increasing the base funding for all 42 sexual assault centres across Ontario by $1.75 million per year so they can enhance their services for survivors of sexual violence.
Premier Kathleen Wynne announced the increased funding today at Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis, a sexual assault centre based in Guelph that will receive about $26,000 more in ongoing support. Community-based sexual assault centres across Ontario will use the expanded funding -- which now totals $14.8 million per year -- to improve the free and confidential services they provide to survivors of sexual violence. These services include:
- Crisis helplines
- Peer support
- Individual and group counselling services
- Referrals to other community services
- Accompaniment to a court, hospital or police station
- Sexual violence education and training for professionals and members of the public.
The announcement helps deliver on the commitments made in It's Never Okay, the government's ground-breaking action plan to stop sexual violence and harassment. It's Never Okay outlines concrete steps to help change attitudes, provide more supports for survivors, and make workplaces and campuses safer and more responsive to complaints about sexual violence and harassment. The government is investing $41 million over three years to help implement the plan.
Supporting survivors of sexual violence and creating a safer, more inclusive and more equitable province is part of the government's four-part plan to build Ontario up. The plan includes investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.
- One in three women in Canada will experience some form of sexual assault in her lifetime.
- Ontario is increasing its ongoing support for sexual assault centres by $1 million per year as part of the Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan. And it has annualized a previous funding increase of $750,000 per year under the 2011 Sexual Violence Action Plan, which was slated to end in 2017, providing these important partners with more predictability and security.
- Ontario has also increased funding for sexual assault and domestic violence treatment centres. It will provide more than $1.1 million more per year for the next three years so these hospital-based centres can enhance their specialized counselling services and community outreach support for survivors of sexual violence.
“Sexual assault centres are a lifeline for those who have experienced the trauma of sexual violence or harassment. Our government is increasing its support for these centres so they can enhance the critical help they provide to survivors.”
“Ontario’s sexual assault centres have been supporting survivors for over 40 years. This additional funding demonstrates our government’s commitment to ensuring survivors of sexual violence feel safe and supported.”
“Sexual violence and harassment are shockingly prevalent in our society. Our It’s Never Okay Action Plan is a leap forward in engaging Ontarians to seed generational change, ensure safe working environments and to deliver strengthened services and supports for survivors. Together, we can make Ontario safer and more equitable for women and girls, and all those who experience sexual violence and harassment.”
“We are thrilled with today’s announcement of increased funding to support sexual assault centres across Ontario. On behalf of the OCRCC, we are committed to working together in partnership with the Ontario government to ensure that survivors of sexual violence have the support that they need, and that all Ontarians live in a province that is safe from sexual violence and harassment. Today’s announcement will make a real difference in the lives of survivors across the province and we are pleased to support the government’s Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan, It’s Never Okay, and to be part of this initiative.”