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Ontario commits $1 million to agencies helping victims of gender-based violence

Thursday, May 14, 2020 @ 11:46 AM | By Amanda Jerome

On May 13, the government of Ontario announced $1 million in funding for front-line agencies that support victims of gender-based violence and human trafficking, so they can “adapt to remote service delivery and ensure continued operation during COVID-19.”

“Clearly, these extraordinary times are creating extraordinary challenges. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak there has been an increased risk of gender-based violence for many individuals who have been staying home and practising physical distancing for weeks now,” said Jill Dunlop, associate minister of Children and Women’s Issues, in a statement.

Dunlop said the funding will assist counselling service providers, such as the Assaulted Women’s Helpline, “develop text and online chat platforms, set up toll-free lines, provide on-demand interpreter services and hire additional staff to respond to increased call volume.”

“It is crucial that Ontarians who have experienced or are at risk of sexual assault, gender-based violence or human trafficking have continued access to counselling and other critical services they need to stay safe, heal and rebuild their lives,” she added, noting that this funding will “ensure a range of critical supports remain available at this time.”

This funding is in addition to the $40 million relief fund for residential service providers and emergency funding for victim services the government has already provided.