OUTSaskatoon getting over $1.1M to support survivors of gender-based violence

Over $1.1 million was announced by the Canadian government in support of two OUTSaskatoon projects. Phillip Bollman / Global News

The federal government is providing funding for two OUTSaskatoon projects aimed at supporting LGBTQ2 people who are survivors of gender-based violence.

Government officials announced over $1.1 million for the Saskatoon organization on April 12.

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“We are pleased to receive funding from the Government of Canada to better respond to gender-based violence within and surrounding the LGBTQ2S community,” OUTSaskatoon executive director Rachel Loewen Walker said in a press release.

“This support will provide the continuity needed to assist survivors, improve the quality of care and programming for LGBTQ2S adults and youth, and in turn  strengthen our communities.”

Over five years, roughly half of the funds will go to a project called “Transformative Care for LGBTQ2S Survivors of Gender-Based Violence: A Prevention and Intervention Action Plan.”

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Officials said it will develop and test the provision of trauma- and survivor-informed, feminist, intersectional, and anti-oppressive services to LGBTQ2 individuals and gender non-conforming survivors of gender-based violence.

The remainder of the funding will be invested in a project entitled “Understanding Gender-Based Violence in LGBTQ2S Communities.”

The second project aims to train and mentor educators, and health and social service providers on how to recognize, prevent and respond safely to gender-based violence as it impacts LGBTQ2 people.

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Federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor said these projects will build supports for LGBTQ2 communities throughout the Prairies to help ensure individuals’ right to live a life free of violence.

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“Gender-based violence can happen to anyone, but statistics show that some groups are more at risk than others, including people who identify as LGBTQ2,” Petitpas Taylor said in a press release.

“The Government of Canada continues to work with partners across Canada to address the root causes of gender-based violence while supporting survivors of violence in ways that are sensitive to their needs and relevant to their experiences.”

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Government officials said nearly half of Canadian people aged 15 and older who identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual report having experienced physical or sexual abuse, compared to 30 per cent of heterosexual people.

OUTSaskatoon is a community-based LGBTQ2S organization that provides short-term counselling, social support groups, diversity training, outreach and community referrals.

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