Sexual violence prevention strategy gets boost from new provincial grants

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The province will give a total of $600,000 in grants to organizations and groups with innovative ideas to prevent sexualized violence. Dave Squires/Global News

HALIFAX – Innovative ideas to prevent sexual violence are getting a financial boost from the province as new grants were announced on Monday.

The Prevention Innovation Grants, a commitment under governments’s Sexual Violence Strategy, will be divided into two streams providing; up to $5,000 and up to $50,000 to community groups and organizations.

READ MORE: New Sexual Violence Strategy to focus on prevention, victim support

“We remain steadfast in our commitment to enhance supports and services for victims and survivors of sexual violence, as well as preventing this type of violence from happening in the first place,” Community Services Minister Joanne Bernard said Monday.

“No one wants to be a victim or perpetrator of sexual violence, yet sexual violence is so prevalent in our society,” said Julie Veinot, executive director of the Lunenburg County Sexual Health Centre.

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“That means we must work to prevent this insidious form of violence, not only for us, but for all the children coming behind us who deserve to see sexuality as a positive aspect of life.”

Under-served populations such as African Nova Scotians, First Nations and LGBTQ community along with youth groups will also benefit from the grants, as they’ll allow them to reach out to their peers, and help put creative prevention initiatives into practice.

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Laura Swaine, Executive Director of the HeartWood Centre for Community Youth Development said it’s an opportunity for the youth of the province to get involved.

“This is allowing them to take leadership on that. They are co-developing some of these projects, they will be co-facilitating and leading some of these projects. So I think there will be ideal opportunities and lots of potential for youth to take center stage with this,” Swaine said.

READ MORE: Student leaders tackle consent, sexual assault during orientation

The one-time grants, available this year and next, will total $600,000, making for a total investment of $1.2 million in the government’s overall Sexual Violence Strategy.

The deadline to submit grant applications is Jan. 15, 2016.