Providing support to survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence in Ontario is a priority for the Government of Canada
March 30, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Justice Canada
All people living in Canada should be safe and free from physical, emotional and sexual violence, discrimination, and harassment, regardless of where they live. As the COVID-19 pandemic has magnified systemic and longstanding inequalities, there is an increased need and urgency to fund initiatives aimed at supporting survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence (IPV) across the country.
Today, on behalf of the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, the Honourable Mona Fortier, President of the Treasury Board and Member of Parliament for Ottawa–Vanier, accompanied by Gary Anandasangaree, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and Member of Parliament for Scarborough–Rouge Park, announced that the Government of Canada is providing support for a project that offers legal support to Francophone victims and survivors of sexual assault and IPV in Ontario.
The Government of Canada is providing support to Action ontarienne contre la violence faite aux femmes for a project that aims to establish expanded legal services for Francophone survivors of IPV and gender-based violence living in Ontario. More specifically, it will allow the organization to extend its offer of legal advice to women who are facing domestic violence, and to increase its ability to provide legal information and that advice to survivors of sexual assault, free of charge. More than $1 million is being provided over five years for this project through Justice Canada’s Victims Fund and Justice Partnership and Innovation Program.
These investments are part of a Budget 2021 total investment of $48.75 million over five years, through Justice Canada’s Victims Fund and Justice Partnership and Innovation Program, for projects that help survivors of sexual assault and IPV in making informed decisions about their particular circumstances. These investments build on Budgets 2017 and 2018, with total funding across the Government of Canada of over $600 million over five years and complement efforts underway as part of the Government of Canada’s Gender-Based Violence Strategy.
“One distressing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is the alarming increase in gender-based violence. Resources to navigate the criminal justice and family law systems are necessary to support survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence. We need to improve the ways the justice system responds to gender based violence and focus on empowering individuals in communities like Ottawa-Vanier. These projects are an important step in encouraging francophone survivors to begin their healing journey and seek justice with the support of their community.”
The Honourable Mona Fortier
President of the Treasury Board
Member of Parliament for Ottawa Vanier
“We sincerely thank the Department of Justice Canada for improving access to justice for the Francophone women of Ontario. Thanks to this funding, we will be able to expand the legal services that we have been offering for more than ten years. All French-speaking survivors of gender-based violence who live in Ontario will now have access to information and legal advice in various areas of law free of charge and without financial criteria.”
Executive Director, Action ontarienne contre la violence faite aux femmes
Intimate partner violence (IPV), also known as spousal or domestic violence, refers to multiple forms of harm caused by a current or former intimate partner or spouse. IPV can happen in any community, in any type of intimate relationship, including within a marriage, common-law or dating relationship, in a heterosexual or LGBTQ2 (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Two-Spirit) relationship. It can happen at any time during a relationship and even after it has ended, whether or not partners live together or are sexually intimate with one another.
Women represent the majority of victims of intimate partner homicides in Canada, accounting for 80% of people killed by an intimate partner between 2014 and 2020. In 2020, 160 women were violently killed in Canada. 40% of women report experiencing some form of IPV in their lifetime and 30% of all women 15 years of age and older report having been the victim of sexual assault.
While Indigenous women account for about 5% of all women in Canada, they accounted for 22% of all women killed by an intimate partner between 2014 and 2020.
Justice Canada’s Justice Partnership and Innovation Program (JPIP) provides contribution funding for projects that support a fair, relevant and accessible Canadian justice system. JPIP supports activities that respond effectively to the changing conditions affecting Canadian justice policy. Priorities include access to justice, family violence, and emerging justice issues. The long-term goal of JPIP is to contribute to increasing access to the Canadian justice system and strengthening the Canadian legal framework.
The Victims Fund provides grants and contributions to support projects and activities that encourage the development of new approaches, promote access to justice, improve the capacity of service providers, foster the establishment of referral networks, and/or increase awareness of services available to victims of crime and their families. It aims to improve access to justice and services for all victims of crime, with a particular focus on meeting the needs of the most vulnerable victims of crime, including child and youth victims.
For more information, media may contact:
Office of the Minister of Justice
Department of Justice Canada
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