Ontario Expanding Supports for Victims of Intimate Partner Violence and Human Trafficking
June 14, 2021
TORONTO - The Ontario government is investing $5 million over two years to enhance services and supports available to victims of intimate partner violence and human trafficking through the new Victim Support Grant (VSG) program. The grant will help police and communities improve services to help meet victims’ needs. “Our government is protecting and supporting victims and survivors of intimate partner violence and human trafficking,” said Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General. “That is why we continue to provide our police services and community partners with the funding they need to develop new or enhance services, supports and resources that will strengthen local prevention efforts and help protect victims and survivors.” All municipal and First Nation police services, as well as the Ontario Provincial Police can apply for funding through the VSG program. Successful applicants will be able to use the grant funding to support a variety of projects and initiatives, such as:
Developing multisectoral teams to support specialized intervention in suspected instances of intimate partner violence or human trafficking;
Setting up collaborative community initiatives to build local capacity to support victims and survivors;
Supporting initiatives that are survivor-led and/or involve meaningful collaboration and involvement of individuals with lived experience;
Launching education and awareness campaigns to inform at-risk groups about the signs of intimate partner violence or human trafficking;
Creating tools and resources for community members who are at greater risk of exploitation and victimization; and
Providing specialized training to law enforcement, support personnel and community members.
Applicants are required to work in collaboration with one other relevant organization, community agency or Indigenous community with expertise in supporting victims and survivors through a different sector such as justice, housing, education, health/mental health, community and social services, and children and youth services. The VSG program builds on other government programs and services offered to victims and survivors of intimate partner violence and human trafficking. It also complements the province’s $307-million Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy 2020-2025 and recently passed Combating Human Trafficking Act, 2021, which aims to support survivors, protect victims and hold offenders accountable. “Intimate partner violence and human trafficking are horrible crimes and the victims and survivors need specialized supports to help them heal from their trauma and regain independence,” said Jill Dunlop, Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues. “The Victim Services Grant program will support prevention for those at risk, and help more victims and survivors get the services they need where and when they need them. It is another step our government is taking to support those in need.”
The maximum funding for each project is $200,000 (i.e., $100,000 per funding year).
Successful applicants will be required to track and collect provincially identified outcomes as well as identify their own local performance measures relevant to individual projects.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines intimate partner violence as “any behaviour within an intimate relationship that causes physical, psychological or sexual harm to those in the relationship.” Examples of types of behaviour include acts of physical violence, sexual violence, psychological abuse and controlling behaviours. The partners do not have to live in the same household.
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