Statement by Minister Monsef and Minister Charest on support for victims of sexual violence and domestic violence in Quebec in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Statement

Quebec ­March 15, 2021

The Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development Canada, and Isabelle Charest, Minister for Education and Minister responsible for the Status of Women in the province of Quebec, issued the following joint statement:

“The pandemic created unprecedented challenges and impacted people’s health and safety in Quebec and across Canada. It widened the gaps, intensified persistent inequalities, and increased the rates and severity of sexual and domestic violence.

Since the pandemic started, the governments of Canada and Quebec have taken steps to limit its impacts on women and girls. Canada and Quebec are committed to working together to ensure that organizations supporting women in need can continue to provide services during these difficult times.

Under the agreement signed in the spring of 2020, the Government of Canada also transferred $8.76 million to the Government of Quebec to support aid organizations and shelters helping women victims of domestic violence and abused women across the province. More than 200 organizations received funds as a result of this agreement.

Today, we are pleased to announce that we have reached another agreement under which direct payment to the Government of Quebec of an additional $8.7 million in emergency funding will be made available to support women’s shelters, organizations helping victims of sexual violence and domestic violence, and organizations offering assistance and services to women in situations leaving them vulnerable to violence. The additional funding is part of the $50 million announced by minister Monsef, in October 2020, bringing the total federal emergency funding for organizations across Canada to $100 million.

In total, nearly $17.5 million was transferred to Quebec from the Government of Canada to support organizations across the province. These investments allow organizations to improve their facilities’ health security, support emergency preparedness and safely adapt and maintain activities and services for their clients in the context of a pandemic.

Canada and Quebec will continue to collaborate to prevent and fight against gender-based violence and to work independently to counter this important social problem.

We encourage people who feel unsafe at home to use the resources available. Victims of sexual assault are encouraged to contact the toll-free helpline at 1-888-933-9007. For victims of domestic violence, SOS Violence conjugale is available to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-363-9010.”

Related links

In a crisis or emergency, call the police by dialling 9-1-1.

Contacts

Marie-Pier Baril
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development
613-295-8123

Alice Bergeron
Press Secretary to the Minister of Education and Minister responsible for the Status of Women
418-997-4093

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