Government of Canada funds projects to end cyberviolence against women and girls

Projects will support women and girls in Toronto and in communities across Canada

TORONTO, July 7, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, today announced more than $630,000 in Government of Canada funding for three new projects to prevent cyberviolence against women and girls. The announcement took place at the national office of the YWCA Canada in Toronto.

Three Toronto-based organizations will receive funding under Status of Women Canada's Call for Proposals entitled Cyber and Sexual Violence: Helping Communities Respond. Projects will prevent and eliminate cyberviolence against women, including cyberbullying, Internet luring and cyberstalking. Two of the projects will take place in Toronto, while the project by YWCA Canada will reach out to Atlantic and Western Canada, Ontario, Quebec, and to both francophone and Northern Aboriginal communities.

Quick Facts

  • The Government of Canada has introduced Bill C-13, the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act, which would make it a criminal offence to distribute intimate images without the consent of the person depicted.

  • In January 2014, the Government of Canada launched a national anti-cyberbullying public awareness campaign called Stop Hating Online, which raises awareness among Canadians of the impact of cyberbullying, and when this behaviour amounts to criminal activity.

  • Status of Women Canada is providing funding to the following organizations:

    • YWCA Canada ($286,130)
    • St. Stephen's Community House ($174,683)
    • Victim Services Program of Toronto ($172,820)

  • Since 2007, through Status of Women Canada, the Government of Canada has invested more than $69 million in projects to end violence against women and girls. Of this amount, more than $2.5 million has been provided for projects that address cyberviolence.

  • Through Status of Women Canada, the government's support for community-based projects has nearly doubled since 2006-2007, supporting over 720 projects in total.

Quotes

"Ending all forms of violence against women and girls is a priority for the Government of Canada. We are taking action by working with skilled, local organizations across the country on projects that will prevent cyberviolence and make Canada's online communities safer for everyone."

The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch
Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women

"We are proud to partner with the Government of Canada on this project to prevent cyberviolence. By working with our member associations to engage youth, diverse communities will benefit from the knowledge and best practices of experienced service providers. The result will be safer online experiences for young women and girls across Canada."

Paulette Senior, CEO
YWCA Canada

"Our aim with this project is to make this city safer for girls and young women who use social media. We are looking forward to working with our partners to identify cyberviolence in the community, and find ways to prevent it."

Bridget Sinclair, Manager of Youth Services
St. Stephen's Community House

"Violence that takes place online is often closely linked to sexual violence against women. This support from the Government of Canada will help prevent the victimization of young women and girls by strengthening our understanding of - and response to - this form of violence."

Bonnie Levine, Executive Director
Victim Services Program of Toronto

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Backgrounder


As part of the recent Call for Proposals, Cyber and Sexual Violence: Helping Communities Respond, the Government of Canada has supported the following projects:

YWCA Canada

  • The YWCA Canada will receive $286,130 for its 30-month project to engage communities in preventing cyberviolence against young women and girls across Canada. The YWCA will work in partnership with its member associations to engage youth in identifying and understanding cyberviolence.  It will also build collaboration among key stakeholders, including policy makers, justice and legal professionals, experts in violence against women and private sector digital market players, allowing them to implement strategies to prevent cyberviolence. The YWCA will establish knowledge-exchange hubs with partners and stakeholders to support the sharing of best practices with Atlantic and Western Canada, Ontario, Quebec, and with francophone and Northern Aboriginal communities.

St. Stephen's House

  • St. Stephen's House will receive $174,683 for its two-year project to engage girls and young women in Toronto in identifying and addressing cyberviolence. The organization will work with local school boards, as well as community and women's organizations on the project, which will include a needs assessment that examines the recruitment of girls and young women into the sex trade through social media.  The findings of the needs assessment will be used in the development of a strategy to address cyberviolence in the community.

Victim Services Toronto

  • Victim Services Toronto will receive $172,820 for its two-year project to bring together young women and girls, school boards, law enforcement, digital companies, and other stakeholders to prevent and eliminate cyberviolence in Toronto.  Participants will work together to improve the response to cyberviolence, by strengthening data collection, knowledge-sharing and coordination, focusing in particular on cyberviolence as it relates to sexual violence against young women and girls.

SOURCE Status of Women Canada

For further information:

For media inquiries only:

Andrew McGrath
Press Secretary
Office of the Hon. Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, P.C., O.Ont., M.P.
Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women
Tel: 819-953-5646

For all other inquiries:

Nanci-Jean Waugh
Director General, Communications and Public Affairs
Status of Women Canada
Tel: 819-420-6810

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For news releases and information on Status of Women Canada, go to women.gc.ca.