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Ontario Providing Support to Victims and Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence and Human Trafficking

Niagara Falls – The Ontario government is investing $5.9 million over two years through the Victim Support Grant (VSG) program to enhance capacity to support survivors of intimate partner violence and human trafficking, including a grant of $73,466.29 for the Niagara Regional Police Service.

The grant will help the Niagara Regional Police Service identify and support victims of human trafficking through police and community collaboration.

The Niagara Regional Police Service is one of 37 police services working in collaboration with local organizations and community partners across the province to receive this funding, which is being provided with support from the federal government. Of the 37 projects funded, 17 will focus on addressing the needs of Indigenous survivors or strengthening relationships with Indigenous organizations and communities.

“Our government has prioritized the fight against intimate partner violence and human trafficking,” said Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West.

“We are providing key supports to law enforcement partners to crack down on violent offenders and traffickers in communities in Niagara and across the province. To survivors and those being trafficked – we hear you and will continue to do what is needed to protect and support you.”

“The Niagara Reginal Police Service continues to work with our partner agencies in the Niagara Region in the fight against human trafficking,” said Chief of Police, Bryan MacCulloch.

“Violence will not be tolerated within our community. This funding will allow our Service to better serve and protect some of our most vulnerable members while also working to prevent them from victimization in the first place.”

“Intimate partner violence and human trafficking are heinous crimes that can have devastating impacts. That is why our government is protecting those at risk and supporting survivors,” said Hon. Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General.

“With this new investment, police services and community partners across the province will work together to help more survivors and at-risk individuals get the supports they need where and when they need them most.”

Funding from the VSG program will be used to assist a variety of projects and initiatives, including:

  • Establishing comprehensive wrap-around resources, supports and services for survivors and at-risk individuals through enhanced police and community partner collaboration;
  • Supporting specialized intervention programs for suspected or confirmed instances of intimate partner violence or human trafficking;
  • Providing specialized training to law enforcement (frontline officers, speciality unit officers and civilian members), support personnel and community members;
  • Increasing technology and equipment to enhance police investigation capacity, improve evidence collection, as well as provide survivors with the option to complete interviews remotely;
  • Creating environments that are culturally safe, respectful and responsive, and launching culturally responsive education and awareness campaigns to inform at-risk groups about the signs of intimate partner violence or human trafficking.

“Intimate partner violence affects people of all genders, ages, racial, ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds though women are three and a half times more likely than men to be victimized,” said Hon. Jane McKenna, Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues.

“This new funding will help provide survivors and those at risk, with specialized supports and resources to ensure their safety and help rebuild their lives.”

As part of Ontario’s Guns, Gangs and Violence Reduction Strategy, this grant supports the overall investment to combat gun violence and gang-related activities, including human trafficking. Since 2018, Ontario, with the help of the federal government, has allocated approximately $187 million through the strategy.

The VSG program also complements the province’s $307-million Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy 2020-2025 and Combating Human Trafficking Act, 2021, which aims to support survivors and hold offenders accountable.