The Ontario government is providing more than $205,000 to organizations in the Peterborough region that support survivors of human trafficking and women who have experienced violence.
On Thursday morning, the province announced the YWCA Peterborough Haliburton will receive $142,949 to support the Haliburton Emergency SafeSpace (HERS) program along with an additional $8,272 for training initiatives. The Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre (KSAC) in Peterborough will receive $55,088 to deliver crucial services and supports. In total, $206,309 combined is being allocated to the organizations.
“Victims of domestic violence and human trafficking require quality and timely support,” said Smith. “This funding will strengthen the support our community offers for survivors. This is part of our overall $307-million, nation-leading strategy to combat human trafficking and support survivors wherever we can.”
Scott said both organizations provide services to the most vulnerable members of their communities.
“This funding will help ensure they can continue to deliver supports and operate local shelters during the pandemic, especially for those who are in rural and remote areas and face transportation barriers,” said Scott.
The province says funding for KSAC will support a collaborative project between the centre and Niijkiwendidaa Anishnaabekwewag Services Circle focusing on education and preventing human trafficking and exploitation and supporting victims. Events, conferences and workshops will work within the region’s First Nations communities: Curve Lake First Nation, Alderville First Nation and Hiawatha First Nation.
For the YWCA, the funding will help implement more projects for the rural communities.
“YWCA Peterborough Haliburton deeply appreciates the support of the Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services for their commitment to continued funding for the Haliburton Emergency SafeSpace (HERS) program,” said Kim Dolan, executive director.
“Now more than ever, violence intervention services for women in geographically isolated areas in the province are in demand. Calls to HERS and the women’s centre from women experiencing gender-based violence have increased throughout the pandemic. We are here to help with safety planning, shelter from violence, and supportive counselling.”
In a statement, Jane McKenna, associate minister of children and women’s issues, said someone’s location should not act as a barrier to accessing quality care and services.
“We want to make sure that everyone affected by violence and sexual exploitation receives the supports they need, no matter where they are in the province,” she said.