Ont. promises more money for sex assault victims

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The Canadian Press

Posted: Mar 2, 2011 5:29 PM ET

Last Updated: Mar 2, 2011 8:01 PM ET

The Ontario government will spend $15 million over four years in an effort to prevent sexual violence and improve support for survivors of sexual assault, the minister responsible for women’s issues said Wednesday.

Laurel Broten said the province’s new Sexual Violence Action Plan “puts Ontario women and families first” by tackling the attitudes that contribute to sexual assault as well as funding support services across the province.

“The prevention aspect of this strategy is front and centre because we want to see a future where there is no sexual violence and where there are no myths associated with women’s choices in their lives,” she said.

The program also aims to make the justice system more “effective and sensitive” in dealing with sexual assault cases by training police officers, Crown counsel and other justice staff, she said.

Women’s advocacy groups called the program a positive beginning.

“At sexual assault centres, we know that without prevention and community change, the need for service will only continue to increase,” said Jacqueline Benn-John, executive director of the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres.

The coalition was one of roughly 350 service providers, experts and sexual assault survivors consulted by the province in drafting the program.

Under the program, the province’s 41 sexual assault centres will receive $3 million to help them continue to provide counselling and other services in their communities.

The boost in funding will allow sexual assault centres to better respond to the specific needs of their communities, Benn-John said.

About a third of the money — $5.2 million — will serve to ramp up public education regarding sexual assault, particularly within universities and colleges and in northern communities.

Another $3.7 million will go to expand interpreter services for immigrant women who have experienced sexual violence or have been sexually exploited through human trafficking.

Training programs for frontline workers will get $1.6 million.

The balance will fund initiatives to set standards for care in hospital treatment centres, reach out to aboriginal and francophone women, and help victims of human trafficking.

Attorney General Chris Bentley said the province will also move to address a gap in the justice system when it comes to sexual harassment and exploitation perpetrated online.

Bentley said he’s seeking an amendment to the Criminal Code that would make it an offence to distribute intimate photos and videos of a person without their consent.

The program builds on Ontario’s Domestic Violence Action Plan introduced in 2004.

 

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$15 million pledged to prevent sexual violence

 

The Canadian Press

Date: Wednesday Mar. 2, 2011 4:11 PM ET

TORONTO — The Ontario government will spend $15 million over four years in an effort to prevent sexual violence and improve support for survivors of sexual assault.

Laurel Broten, the minister responsible for women’s issues, announced the province’s new Sexual Violence Action Plan this afternoon.

She says the money will serve to ramp up public education regarding sexual violence and help survivors access support services.

The province says it will improve co-ordination for training police officers, Crown counsel and others dealing with sexual assault cases.

The program builds on Ontario’s Domestic Violence Action Plan introduced in 2004.

1 Response to Ont. promises more money for sex assault victims

  1. Sylvia says:

    Where oh where pray tell do male victims fit in to the package?

    $15 M to put “Ontario women and families first” What of male victims? What of men? They’re at the bottom of the proverbial heap?

    It just gets tiring. The same old same old.

    They penned a flawed mandate to deal with the allegations of sex abuse and cover-up in Cornwall: the insitutional response to allegations of abuse da da da.

    Then $60 M later they had discovered that there really and truly is a dearth of services for male victims.

    Now this!

    Nothing new under the sun is there?

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