Ontario Supports Survivors of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence
Premier Wynne Announces $1.1 Million Annually for Treatment Centres
Ontario is investing over $1.1 million a year for the next three years to enhance specialized counselling services and community outreach support for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.
Premier Kathleen Wynne visited The Scarborough Hospital today to announce the new funding for hospital-based Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Centres. Of that funding, approximately $900,000 per year is allotted for enhancing existing specialized counselling services across the province, with an additional $200,000 to develop a province-wide community outreach program.
As part of this investment, Premier Wynne announced that the treatment centre at The Scarborough Hospital will receive over $28,000 in funding.
The Ontario government is also taking steps to ensure that the Standards of Care for treatment centres are being met by enhancing performance reporting standards. Under this initiative, the government will also monitor treatment centres' results to ensure that the new investments are making a difference in the lives of those affected by sexual violence.
Today's announcement is an important step towards achieving the commitments outlined in It's Never Okay, the government's action plan to stop sexual violence and harassment. These measures include strengthening the supports provided by hospital-based treatment centres and maintaining round-the-clock access to excellent, appropriate and timely care.
Supporting victims 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 talent and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in the province's history, creating a dynamic and innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.
- The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care opened the first hospital-based sexual assault centre at Women’s College Hospital in 1984.
- In 1993, the ministry created the Ontario Network of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Centres, which now includes 35 centres across the province.
- These treatment centres operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and rely on on-call staff to meet the needs of patients arriving at any time.
- In Canada, one in three women will experience some form of sexual assault in her lifetime.
- The government announced the creation of It's Never Okay: An Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment on March 6, 2015. This is a ground-breaking plan 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 has committed $41 million over three years to support the plan’s implementation.
- Supporting hospital-based sexual assault centres is also part of the government’s plan to build a better Ontario through its Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care.
“Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Centres are on the front lines of supporting victims of sexual violence in our communities. With today’s announcement, our government is delivering on our commitment to the women of Ontario by investing in additional counselling services and community outreach to support survivors during the healing process.”
“Sexual violence is regrettably present in every community in this province — and that is not acceptable. We can, and must, do better. These Centres provide comprehensive and timely support to survivors and I am proud that Ontario is enhancing these services further so that survivors have access to the services they need, when they need them most.”
“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.”