Ontario Strengthening Victim Services in Mississauga

Published on April 05, 2020

Attorney General announces $2.7 million to support victims during COVID-19 outbreak

STREETSVILLE - Ontario is taking emergency action to address the recent spike in domestic violence reported by victims services organizations during the COVID-19 crisis.

The government of Ontario is providing an emergency payment of more than $2.7 million to support services for victims of domestic violence and other violent crimes in response to the evolving public health crisis and challenges victim service providers are facing.

Victim Services of Peel offering services in Mississauga-Streetsville will receive $104,400 as part of this one-time emergency payment in addition to its annual funding allocation from the Ministry of the Attorney General.

"This emergency payment will ensure victims of crime, particularly those who are experiencing domestic violence, get the help they need to stay safe and healthy during this crisis," said MPP Nina Tangri.

"Staying home is unfortunately not always the safest option in certain households and sadly a recent increase in domestic violence has been reported to front-line victim service organizations," said Attorney General Downey.

This additional one-time emergency payment will help more than 50 community agencies across Ontario, including victim crisis assistance organizations (VCAOs), Indigenous organizations and those based in rural areas, stay operational and accessible to victims during the public health crisis. Funds will help front-line staff respond to challenges caused by the COVID-19 crisis and enhance access to immediate supports for victims, including extended hotels stays, and transportation and meal vouchers available through the Victim Quick Response Program Plus (VQRP+).

“Victims of domestic violence live in constant danger, as attested to by the growing number of intimate partner homicides in the Region of Peel. Victims are inadvertently put further at risk by the social distancing needed to combat COVID-19,” says Jaz Singh, Board Chair of Victim Services of Peel.  “We welcome not only the increased provincial funding that will assist vulnerable members of our community during these challenging times, but also the increased public awareness that it brings.”

"During the COVID-19 health emergency, victim service providers are seeing a spike in domestic violence cases just as victims are left with fewer and fewer places to turn for help," said Ontario Network of Victim Service Provider President, Sheri MacDonald. "The Attorney General and his staff understand what we're facing on the front lines and his cooperation and decisive action make a true difference for our clients."

“Ending incidents of family and intimate partner violence requires a coordinated effort by everyone in the community. If you are in danger, call 9-1-1. After that, call Victim Services of Peel’s 24/7 crisis line at (905) 568-1068,” added Singh. “In times of crisis, just know that you are not alone.”

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MEDIA CONTACT

Nina.tangriCO@pc.ola.org