Strong Women Mean a Strong Canada: Guergis

MEDICINE HAT, AB, April 7 /CNW Telbec/ - On behalf of the Honourable Helena Guergis, Minister of State (Status of Women), Mr. LaVar Payne, Member of Parliament for Medicine Hat, today announced Government of Canada support for a new project that will ensure victims of sexual assault have improved access to services in Southeast Alberta.

The investment in the Canadian Mental Health Association of Alberta - Southeast Region's 17-month project, Community Development for Sexual Assault Response Services in Southeast Alberta, will focus on both preventative outreach and creation of resources for rural victims of sexual assault to help them overcome barriers to safety, treatment, support and recovery.

"When we empower girls and women to protect themselves from sexual violence and get the help they need when they have been victimized, we protect their future well-being and the well-being of their families," said Minister of State Guergis. "This project will use outreach, presentations, focus groups and workshops to educate girls and women about sexual assault and the services available to its victims."

Funding for this project totaling $36,604 is allocated by the Government of Canada from the Women's Community Fund of Status of Women Canada. To qualify, projects must work to promote the full participation of women in the economic, social and democratic life of Canada.

"This project will enable female victims of sexual violence to get the full benefit of the services available to them in our region, and in the process, lessen the damage to their future well-being," said Mr. Payne.

"We are pleased to have the support of the Government of Canada for this project, which will build on a previously funded project, Sexual Assault Education and Outreach in Southeast Alberta," said Ms. Lois Bourassa, Executive Director of the Canadian Mental Health Association of Alberta - Southeast Region. "This next phase will address access to resources for victims in rural communities, helping them to overcome barriers to safety, treatment, support and recovery."

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For news releases and information on Status of Women Canada, go to

SOURCE Status of Women Canada

For further information: For further information: Jonas Langille, Special Assistant, Communications, Office of the Minister of State (Status of Women), (819) 956-4000; Nanci-Jean Waugh, Director General, Communications and Strategic Planning, Status of Women Canada, (613) 995-7839

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