HAMILTON - The Ontario government is investing more than $4 million across the province to help support victims and survivors of intimate partner violence/domestic violence, human trafficking, and child exploitation. The funding is being delivered through the Victim Support Grant program and includes $100,000 for Hamilton Police Services.
The Hamilton Police Services, through the Community Liaison Program, will work with Interval House of Hamilton, Banyan Community Services, and the YMCA of Hamilton/ Burlington/ Brantford to provide victim support services for survivors of intimate partner violence and human trafficking such as, counselling, legal advocacy, transitional housing support, court support, and access to food and clothing.
“Support for victims and survivors is a crucial first step to recovery,” said Solicitor General Michael Kerzner. “This important grant is part of our government’s plan to combat violent crime on our streets and ensure that victims are not left behind.”
“Through this grant, our government is supporting victims and survivors of these terrible crimes,” said Neil Lumsden, MPP for Hamilton East-Stoney Creek. “I am pleased to continue our work, in partnership with the Hamilton Police Service, helping the most vulnerable in our community.”
“The Community Liaison Program grant represents a crucial partnership between our Service and these dedicated organizations, said Hamilton Chief of Police, Frank Bergen. “Together, we're not just addressing Intimate Partner Violence and Human Trafficking; we're providing immediate access to essential support, ensuring victims and survivors are not alone in their journey to safety and recovery.”
The Victim Support Grant (VSG) is part of Ontario’s Guns, Gangs and Violence Reduction Strategy and complements the province’s $307 million Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy, 2020-2025 and Combating Human Trafficking Act, 2021.
- All municipal and First Nation police services as well as the Ontario Provincial Police are eligible to apply for funding through the VSG program.
- The VSG can be used for a variety of projects and initiatives, including specialized training for law enforcement, culturally responsive education and awareness campaigns, and purchasing technology and equipment to enhance police investigations and provide survivors with the option to complete interviews remotely.
- Of the 45 projects being funded across the province, 19 will focus on intimate partner violence and domestic violence, five on human trafficking, three on child exploitation, and 18 that will focus on all three areas.
- The Ontario government is investing over $2 million in the Partner Assault Response (PAR) program to help break the cycle of intimate partner violence and keep communities safe. The PAR program provides specialized group education and counselling for people charged with intimate partner violence offences and offers support to current partners of those in the program. This two-year investment is in addition to the more than $2 million given to PAR providers in 2022.