Ontario Supporting Victims of Gun and Gang Violence in Niagara

St. Catharines – The Ontario government is investing over $1.4 million in communities across the province to help support young victims, witnesses and survivors of gun and gang violence, including human trafficking, and their families. The funding, through the Grant to Support Child Victims of Gun and Gang Violence, includes $87,800 for the Kristen French Child Advocacy Centre in St. Catharines.

“This funding for local victims of crime is another step our government is taking to build safer communities and protect vulnerable children and youth,” said Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West.

“As an advocate in the fight against human trafficking, I applaud the mission of the Kristen French Child Advocacy Centre in providing a safe place to help, heal and end child abuse for children and youth across Niagara.”

“We are deeply grateful for the Ontario government’s investment in supporting young victims of gun and gang violence, including those affected by human trafficking,” said Brian Bratt, Executive Director of the Kristen French Child Advocacy Centre.

“This unique initiative aims to extend critical support to underage victims residing in rural areas through no-cost, one-to-one virtual therapy sessions. This provincial funding enables us to expand our reach and provide essential services to vulnerable children and youth, contributing to their healing and resilience.”

The grants provide organizations with up to $150,000 for initiatives that:

  • Expand supports including counselling and safety planning services for child victims of gun and gang violence and those impacted by human trafficking;
  • Create culturally sensitive, relevant and accessible resources to help young victims and their families more easily navigate the justice system;
  • Deliver specialized training to staff who support child victims of gun and gang violence;
  • Support community coordination and partnerships with stakeholders.

“Community organizations do important, impactful work helping young victims of crime when and where they need it most,” said Hon. Doug Downey, Attorney General.

“This investment is part of our government’s ongoing work to support victims of crime, empower communities, and increase awareness of gun and gang violence. Ontario is honoured to support the dedication and commitment of these local individuals and organizations through this grant program.”