- Stephen Lecce, MPP
Ontario Strengthening Supports for Survivors of Violence and their Children
TORONTO — The Ontario government is investing up to $6.5 million to help women and children who have experienced violence and are survivors of human trafficking access the supports and services they need to stay safe and rebuild their lives. This funding will also help children and youth get the early intervention supports they need to heal from the harmful effects of experiencing and witnessing violence.
"This investment will help to ensure that women and children who are experiencing, or have survived acts of violence will receive the supports they need regardless of where they live in Ontario,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services. “Under Premier Ford’s leadership, we are ensuring that timely intervention and diverse care is available to help our most vulnerable where and when they need it."
The $6.5 million investment includes:
Up to $3.6 million for frontline agencies in rural and remote communities to strengthen culturally responsive supports for Indigenous women and reduce barriers for survivors of violence and human trafficking – for example, by providing transportation to and from counselling and legal appointments.
Up to $2.9 million to increase access to stable and ongoing prevention and early intervention supports for children and youth entering a shelter who have been exposed to violence. These supports are delivered by frontline service providers, such as child and youth workers, early childhood educators, and culturally specific service providers.
“Our government is breaking down barriers so women who have experienced violence can receive the help they need no matter where they are in the province,” said Charmaine Williams, Associate Minister of Women’s Social and Economic Opportunity. “This investment will ensure women and children have access to timely and effective care, whether they live in a rural community or are concerned about the care their children will receive once they arrive at a shelter.”
“Our government feels strongly that women and children who are victims of violence and human trafficking must be supported and feel safe in their communities. We are investing in culturally relevant support services that will help address trauma and enhance the healing process,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs and Northern Development. “By expanding funding, we are removing barriers and improving access to meaningful supports in northern, rural and remote communities.”
Ontario is working to prevent and address violence against women in all forms, including human trafficking. This $6.5 million additional investment will help ensure survivors and their children have the foundation they need to stay safe and begin their healing process. This funding builds on Ontario’s ongoing investments in prevention initiatives, community services and supports for women and children who have experienced violence, as well as survivors of human trafficking.
Arrival at emergency shelters presents a critical point at which to intervene with children and youth exposed to violence. For many children and youth, shelters are a highly stressful transition environment, and they require child-appropriate trauma-informed supports to confront the difficulties they are experiencing.
Ontario’s Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy represents the largest total investment dedicated to anti-human trafficking supports and services in Canada.
Ontario is investing $18.5 million over three years to support survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking by increasing access to safe and affordable housing, employment assistance and childcare through the Transitional and Housing Support Program.
Ontario released Pathways to Safety: Ontario’s Strategy in Response to the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.