OTTAWA, Aug. 24, 2018 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the most vulnerable. Today, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, announced $1.5 million through the National Crime Prevention Strategy (NCPS) for two Calgary-based projects to empower women who are exiting or have exited the sex trade to maintain their freedom from sexual exploitation.
The BElieve in YOU: Peer Support for Women Exiting Sex Work Program and the Community Supports for EXIT Program aim to support vulnerable women through partnership development, safe transitional housing, community support and awareness training. The projects will help the women overcome barriers to exiting sex work and other violent situations with dignity, self-determination and in an environment of respect.
The BElieve in YOU Program is delivered by the Sagesse Domestic Violence Prevention Society and the Community Supports for EXIT Program is delivered by the RESET Society of Calgary. Both organizations have been providing services to women in Calgary for over 28 years.
"Our government is committed to helping those who are the most vulnerable and empowering those in the community best-placed to help. This funding will provide peer support services and community-based outreach for women who have exited or want to exit the sex trade and other violent situations. I'm confident these programs will make a meaningful and positive difference in the lives of many women who call Calgary home."
- The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
"Peer support is recognized as an effective model for supporting women who are engaged at the intersections of domestic violence and sex work. Programming must meet the needs of women in order to support them in reaching their goals. The BElieve in YOU Program holds the continuum from choice, circumstance, to coercion at the core of its programming. We believe that involvement in sex work is unique to each individual, and engaging at the intersections of domestic violence and sex work is all about empowering women to be as safe as possible in any situation."
- Andrea Silverstone, Executive Director of Sagesse Domestic Violence Prevention Society
"Public Safety funding has allowed us to expand our EXIT Program continuum of services to include the Community Supports for EXIT Program. This program provides vulnerable women and girls as young as 16, who are exiting sexual exploitation/sex-trafficking, with the opportunity to rebuild their lives and integrate back into the community. This proactive initiative from the federal government has increased the capacity within our program, decreased our wait list for those wishing immediate exit, and improved our outcomes as more women are staying and graduating from the program."
- Theresa Jenkins, Executive Director of RESET Society of Calgary
- Both projects are funded through the National Crime Prevention Strategy's Measures to Support Exiting Prostitution, which supports a range of tailored and comprehensive approaches to assist individuals who want to exit prostitution. It also supports the dissemination of knowledge and the development of tools and resources related to best practices for exiting prostitution.
- From April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018, the Government of Canada supported 77 community-based crime prevention projects across Canada.
- Up to $44.5 million has been committed in 2018-2019 to support NCPS in the implementation and evaluation of crime prevention programs.
- The BElieve in YOU Program is designed to serve 50 women every year for five years, beginning in 2017.
- The Community Supports for EXIT Program (CSEP) is designed to serve at least 30 women in its first year and 60 women per year in the subsequent four, beginning in 2017.
SOURCE Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada
For further information: Scott Bardsley, Senior Advisor for Communications, Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, 613-998-5681, [email protected]; Media Relations, Public Safety Canada, 613-991-0657, [email protected]