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  • News
  • March 17, 2018

Ontario Increasing Support for Survivors of Gender-Based Violence

Province Improving Services and Supports for Ottawa-area Survivors

Ontario is improving services and supports for Ottawa-area survivors of domestic and sexual
violence as part of It's Never Okay: Ontario's Gender-Based Violence Strategy.

The comprehensive new strategy includes actions to address the root causes of violence with
early intervention, help survivors recover and ensure the justice system is more responsive to
the unique needs of victims and their families.

The strategy also focuses on helping survivors in the Ottawa-area and across the province get
the help they need, when they need it by:

 Extending and expanding the free Independent Legal Advice program provincewide so
survivors can get advice on their options at any point after a sexual assault. Ottawa was
one of three cities to pilot this program in 2016.

 Enhancing the capacity for the Victim Crisis Assistance Ontario Program to ensure
survivors can access support (e.g., safety planning, emergency transportation)
immediately after a crime, 24-hours a day.

 Increasing the capacity of sexual assault centres to meet the growing demand for
services and serve more vulnerable clients, especially those living in rural communities.

 Providing additional supports to survivors to navigate the family court process through
increased funding to the Family Court Support Worker Program.

 Enhancing service and system capacity of the Partner Assault Response Program to
provide specialized group education and counselling for domestic violence offenders
with the aim of increasing victim safety.

In addition, the province is developing new policing standards on sexual assault and domestic
violence investigations. Working with justice and community partners, it is exploring innovative
and alternative justice approaches to enhance the choices available to survivors of sexual

Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change
includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of
thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for
everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.

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