McGuinty Government Increases Funding To Sexual Assault Centres

    Supporting Delivery Of Victim Services Across Ontario

    TORONTO, Aug. 30 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government will boost funding for
sexual assault centres to support the delivery of services to victims,
Attorney General Michael Bryant and Sandra Pupatello, Minister Responsible for
Women's Issues, said today.
    "Victims of sexual assault need high quality, community-based services to
help them overcome their trauma," said Bryant. "This additional funding will
help these centres to meet increased operational costs so they can assist
clients at a critical time in their lives."
    "With this investment we are building on our efforts to improve supports
for victims of sexual assault," said Pupatello. "The McGuinty government takes
the issue of sexual assault and all other forms of violence against women very
seriously. That is why we are spending more than $190 million annually on
services to address violence against women."
    "We are pleased that this funding will help us to meet the rising cost of
providing vital services to our clients," said Marilyn Oladimeji, President,
Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres. "Ontario's rape crisis centres have
evolved continually to meet the changing needs of women and our services have
grown from crisis line support in a few locations to our current broad range
of services, including 24-hour crisis/support lines."
    The government invests $13 million per year in 38 sexual assault centres
across the province. Today's announcement represents a three per cent
    Provincially funded sexual assault centres in Ontario serve more than
36,000 women each year, offering support, assistance and compassion. The broad
range of confidential services offered free of charge includes:

        -  24-hour crisis and support lines that provide information and
           emotional support, counselling on available services and referrals
           to appropriate community agencies for women who have experienced
           sexual assault
        -  Accompanying victims to hospital, to meetings with police and to
        -  Supportive peer counselling services, both one-on-one and group
           sessions, to help victims recover from trauma
        -  One-on-one information and referral services for victims
        -  Public and professional education regarding the nature and extent
           of sexual violence.

    The McGuinty government and Ontarians are working together to achieve
results in supporting victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and other
crimes of violence. Further initiatives include:

        -  Providing $4.9 million for a public education campaign to promote
           healthy, equal relationships and change attitudes that perpetuate
           violence against women
        -  Expanding the Child Victim/Witness Centre program to all regions
           of the province to provide support services and court preparation
           for children, many of whom have been sexually abused or exposed to
           domestic violence
        -  Investing more than $15 million over the past three years in the
           Community Grant Program, including $6 million in 2007-08, in more
           than 200 locally based, innovative projects that enhance services
           for victims of crime across Ontario
        -  Implementing a comprehensive, five-part, $5 million strategy to
           address Internet child pornography and offer support to victims
           and referrals to community services.

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Greg Crone, Ministry of the Attorney General,
Minister's Office, (416) 326-1785; Brendan Crawley, Ministry of the Attorney
General, Communications Branch, (416) 326-2210

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