With support from the federal government, funding will be provided to 37 police services working in collaboration with local organizations and community partners across the province. Of the 37 projects funded, 17 will focus on addressing the needs of Indigenous survivors or strengthening relationships with Indigenous organizations and communities.
“Intimate partner violence and human trafficking are heinous crimes that can have devastating impacts. That is why our government is protecting those at risk and supporting survivors,” said Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General. “With this new investment, police services and community partners across the province will work together to help more survivors and at-risk individuals get the supports they need where and when they need them most.”
Funding from the VSG program will be used to assist a variety of projects and initiatives, including:
- Establishing comprehensive wrap-around resources, supports and services for survivors and at-risk individuals through enhanced police and community partner collaboration
- Supporting specialized intervention programs for suspected or confirmed instances of intimate partner violence or human trafficking
- Providing specialized training to law enforcement (frontline officers, speciality unit officers and civilian members), support personnel and community members
- Increasing technology and equipment to enhance police investigation capacity, improve evidence collection, as well as provide survivors with the option to complete interviews remotely
- Creating environments that are culturally safe, respectful and responsive, and launching culturally responsive education and awareness campaigns to inform at-risk groups about the signs of intimate partner violence or human trafficking
“Intimate partner violence affects people of all genders, ages, racial, ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds though women are three and a half times more likely than men to be victimized,” said Jane McKenna, Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues. ” “This new funding will help provide survivors and those at risk, with specialized supports and resources to ensure their safety and help rebuild their lives.”
The Durham Regional Police Service is among the 37 police services receiving grant funding. The service works in partnership with Durham Region Victim Services and Dnaagdawenmag Binnoojiiyag Child & Family Services to provide immediate, on-site intervention services, connect individuals to a wide range of community services and deliver culturally appropriate human trafficking awareness campaigns.
“Our government is giving community partners, such as Durham Regional Police Services, Dnaagdawenmag Binnoojiiyag Child & Family Services, and Durham Region Victim Services resources to help victims, survivors, and those at risk to ensure that our partners have the necessary tools to provide immediate support and on-site services to those in need,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, MPP for Pickering-Uxbridge.
As part of Ontario’s Guns, Gangs and Violence Reduction Strategy, this grant supports the overall investment to combat gun violence and gang-related activities, including human trafficking. The VSG program also complements the province’s $307-million Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy 2020-2025 and Combating Human Trafficking Act, 2021.