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Ontario Providing Support to Victims and Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence and Human Trafficking

PICKERING — The Ontario government is investing $5.9 million over two years through the Victim Support Grant (VSG) program to enhance capacity to support survivors of intimate partner violence and human trafficking.

With support from the federal government, funding will be provided to 37 police services working in collaboration with local organizations and community partners across the province. Of the 37 projects funded, 17 will focus on addressing the needs of Indigenous survivors or strengthening relationships with Indigenous organizations and communities.

“Intimate partner violence and human trafficking are heinous crimes that can have devastating impacts. That is why our government is protecting those at risk and supporting survivors,” said Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General. “With this new investment, police services and community partners across the province will work together to help more survivors and at-risk individuals get the supports they need where and when they need them most.”

Funding from the VSG program will be used to assist a variety of projects and initiatives, including:

  • Establishing comprehensive wrap-around resources, supports and services for survivors and at-risk individuals through enhanced police and community partner collaboration
  • Supporting specialized intervention programs for suspected or confirmed instances of intimate partner violence or human trafficking
  • Providing specialized training to law enforcement (frontline officers, speciality unit officers and civilian members), support personnel and community members
  • Increasing technology and equipment to enhance police investigation capacity, improve evidence collection, as well as provide survivors with the option to complete interviews remotely
  • Creating environments that are culturally safe, respectful and responsive, and launching culturally responsive education and awareness campaigns to inform at-risk groups about the signs of intimate partner violence or human trafficking

“Intimate partner violence affects people of all genders, ages, racial, ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds though women are three and a half times more likely than men to be victimized,” said Jane McKenna, Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues. ” “This new funding will help provide survivors and those at risk, with specialized supports and resources to ensure their safety and help rebuild their lives.”

The Durham Regional Police Service is among the 37 police services receiving grant funding. The service works in partnership with Durham Region Victim Services and Dnaagdawenmag Binnoojiiyag Child & Family Services to provide immediate, on-site intervention services, connect individuals to a wide range of community services and deliver culturally appropriate human trafficking awareness campaigns.

“Our government is giving community partners, such as Durham Regional Police Services, Dnaagdawenmag Binnoojiiyag Child & Family Services, and Durham Region Victim Services resources to help victims, survivors, and those at risk to ensure that our partners have the necessary tools to provide immediate support and on-site services to those in need,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, MPP for Pickering-Uxbridge.

As part of Ontario’s Guns, Gangs and Violence Reduction Strategy, this grant supports the overall investment to combat gun violence and gang-related activities, including human trafficking. The VSG program also complements the province’s $307-million Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy 2020-2025 and Combating Human Trafficking Act, 2021.


Quick Facts

  • The current two-year grant cycle under the VSG program is supported in part by the federal government’s Initiative to Take Action Against Gun and Gang Violence, which includes a total investment of more than $65 million over five years for Ontario’s Guns, Gangs and Violence Reduction Strategy.
  • Current funding is for project costs incurred in 2021-22 and 2022-23 fiscal years. The maximum funding for each project is $200,000 (i.e., $100,000 per funding year).
  • All municipal and First Nation police services, as well as the Ontario Provincial Police were eligible to apply for funding through the VSG program.

Quotes

“With this grant, we can enhance a human trafficking resource hub for Durham Region. It will allow Victim Services Durham Region to work hand-in-hand with the Domestic Violence Unit at the Durham Regional Police Service to provide seamless, trauma-informed support to survivors. It will allow us to expand our knowledge as a community about how sex trafficking and other forms of gender-based violence disproportionately impact Indigenous women and girls.”

– Carly Kalish
Executive Director, Victim Services Durham Region

“Collaboration between Indigenous and non-Indigenous service agencies is critical, especially when responding to a social crisis like human trafficking that disproportionately affects Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQ+ peoples. Dnaagdawenmag Binnoojiiyag Child & Family Services is proud to be doing this work to ensure the stories, trauma, and experiences of Indigenous survivors are heard, honoured and responded to in ways that meet their individual needs.”

– Amber Crowe
Executive Director, Dnaagdawenmag Binnoojiiyag Child & Family Services


Additional Resources