Improved access to justice for victims of sexual assault, intimate partner violence and those who have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace in Ontario

July 26, 2022 – Toronto, Ontario – Justice Canada Department

All people in Canada should be safe and free from physical, emotional and sexual violence, discrimination and harassment, regardless of where they live. The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified longstanding and systemic inequalities. There is now an even greater need and urgency to support survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence (IPV) through legal reform and directly through funding to improve services across the country. .

Today, the Honorable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, joined by Gary Anandasangaree, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice, Attorney General of Canada, the Honorable Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services of Ontario and Deepa Mattoo , Executive Director of the Barbra Schlifer Memorial Clinic (BSCC), announced funding for three projects to support victims of sexual assault and IPV and those who have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace in Ontario. These initiatives are based on legislative changes that our government has made to the criminal codemost recently through Bill C-28, which ensures that people who use drugs and/or alcohol in a criminally negligent manner are held criminally liable if they harm others while extremely intoxicated.

The Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services will expand services and access to Family Court Support Worker Program (FCSWP) for victims of intimate partner violence in the family court process. With this project, they:

  • Increase service delivery from various program partners across the province, focusing on rural and remote communities where client access to services is hampered due to geographic circumstances.
  • Strengthen coordination and referrals to other community services that help victims of intimate partner violence when they leave abusive relationships, such as victim services (Ontario Crisis Assistance Program for Victims), sexual assault services, shelters/ Transitional Housing Support, Legal Services, Income Support Programs (Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support Program), Health Care Organization/Counseling and others.

The “Its my choiceThe project aims to enhance the capacity of the BSCC and expand its services to support more survivors of sexual assault and IPV and gender-based violence in Ontario, by:

  • establish a provincial network so that in-person and remote support can be provided to more victims across the province, including through the provision of legal services that support survivors with triage, risk assessment, safety planning, housing, interpretation services and advisory services.
  • Provide training and support to legal experts to ensure delivery of trauma-informed legal services that are tailored to the diverse lived experiences of survivors.

This project will result in increased access to legal support for victims of sexual violence in Ontario, allowing them to make informed decisions about their situation in a safe, effective and informed manner.

The “#And I alsoThe project:

  • create comprehensive, multilingual, and trauma-informed resources to inform people who have experienced workplace sexual harassment in the hospitality and service industries about their rights, community, and legal supports available to them, and how navigate the justice system and approach their employers.
  • give more people who have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace confidence in their ability to understand and pursue their legal options.

Justice Canada is providing more than $6 million over five years to the Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services and the BSCC for these three projects in support of victims of sexual violence and people experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace. in Ontario. This investment supports the Government of Canada’s commitment to help survivors of sexual assault and IPV and address sexual harassment in the workplace.

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