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Ontario strengthening victim services in Bay of Quinte
To address a recent spike in domestic violence during the COVID-19 crisis, Ontario will provide Victim Services Hastings, Prince Edward, and Lennox & Addington a one-time emergency payment of $61,500 in addition to its annual funding allocation from the Ministry of the Attorney General.
The funding is part of a one-time investment 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.
“This emergency payment will ensure victims of crime – and particularly those who are experiencing domestic violence – get the help they need to stay safe and healthy during this crisis,” said Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte and Minister of Children, Community and Social Services.
This additional one-time emergency payment will help more than 50 community agencies across Ontario, including , 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 .
“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 Doug Downey.
Sheri MacDonald, the president of the Ontario Network of Victim Service Providers, welcomed the support.
“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. The Attorney General and his staff understand what we’re facing on the front lines and his co-operation and decisive action make a true difference for our clients.”