From the Ontario Government press release ...
The Nishnawbe Aski Nation is receiving more than $700,000 over three years to provide services to male victims in northern Aboriginal communities who have suffered sexual abuse from the provincial Victims Services program (see below) ...
McGuinty Government Expands Services To Help Children Overcome Trauma Child Victim/Witness Centre Program Helps Children Through Court Process
OTTAWA, Aug. 21 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government is expanding the province's innovative Child Victim/Witness Centre program, Attorney General Michael Bryant announced today.
"The expansion of this program to all regions of the province will provide effective support services and court preparation for children, including many who have been abused or exposed to domestic violence," said Bryant.
The government currently funds Child Victim/Witness Centres in London and Toronto. The expansion, which includes an investment of $1 million, will allow for a new centre in Ottawa and fund two existing centres in the Regions of Peel and Waterloo.
The new centre in Ottawa, to be operated by Catholic Family Service Ottawa, will provide the following services free of charge:
Children will be referred to the centre by community partners such as police, Crown prosecutors and Victim/Witness Assistance Program staff.
The McGuinty government's $1 million investment will:
The Child Victim/Witness Centre program complements the work of the Victim/Witness Assistance Program, which provides information, assistance, referrals and support to victims and witnesses of crime, throughout the criminal court process, in all 54 court districts across the province.
The service expansion responds to the release of the "Best Practices in Child Victim/Witness Programs" report. The government commissioned this report to provide information on the effectiveness of the province's Child Victim/Witness programs. The executive summary of the report is available on the ministry website at www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca. To obtain a copy of the report, please call 416-326-2220 or 1-800-518-7901 toll free.
"Child witness support provides substantial benefits to children involved in the justice system," said Franca DiDiomete, Catholic Family Service Ottawa. "We are proud to deliver these services that will benefit many children who are victims of violence or witnesses of violence."
"The Ottawa Community Committee on Child Abuse led the long effort to establish a child victim/witness program in Ottawa, and we are delighted that these much-needed services to children will soon be available in our community," said Ron Ensom, former Co-chair, Ottawa Community Committee on Child Abuse.
-------------------------------------------------------------VICTIM SERVICES IN ONTARIO
The Government of Ontario is committed to ensuring victims of crime have a strong voice. A broad range of victim services is currently provided through provincially funded programs. Government and community-based services support victims in the immediate aftermath of crime, throughout the criminal justice process and as they work to rebuild their lives.
In addition to $1 million in new annual funding to support and develop Child Victim/Witness Centres announced on August 21, 2007, other provincially-funded programs that help victims of crime include the following:
Victim Crisis Assistance and Referral Services
This community response program provides immediate on-site service to victims of crime, 24 hours a day, seven days-a-week. It currently operates in 48 communities across Ontario and served more than 48,000 victims provincewide last year. The government is increasing the program's annual budget by 20 per cent, to $9.4 million. The full funding increase will be in effect in 2008-09.
Sexual Assault/Rape Crisis Centres
The province invests $13 million per year in Ontario's 38 Sexual Assault/Rape Crisis Centres, which offer a wide variety of counselling, information and support services to victims and survivors of sexual abuse.
Victim Quick Response Program
A $6 million investment in three new immediate services for victims of violent crime was announced on July 13, 2007. The services became available locally in over 50 communities across Ontario on July 16. The three services are:
Community Grants Program
This program has provided more than $15 million over the past three years, including $6 million in 2007-08, for 107 locally based, innovative projects, that enhance services for victims of crime across Ontario.
Domestic Violence Court Program
This $22 million program provides victims of domestic violence with support from specially trained Crown prosecutors, Victim/Witness Assistance Program staff, police, Partner Assault Response programs, language interpreters and other service providers. It operates in all 54 Ontario court districts and is the most comprehensive program of its kind in Canada.
Victim/Witness Assistance Program
A cornerstone of services provided to victims of crime, this program received $16 million in annual funding and helped more than 66,000 Ontarians last year. It provides information, assistance, referrals and support to victims and witnesses of crime, throughout the criminal court process, in all 54 court districts across the province. Surveys consistently show that over 90 per cent of clients are satisfied with the services they receive. Program staff maintain close contact with local community agencies to ensure victims can access the full range of supports they need.
Guns & Gangs Task Force
A dedicated 12-member victim/witness assistance team is being put in place as part of the Guns & Gangs Task Force, which is based at a new $26 million state-of-the-art Operations Centre.
Bail Safety Project
In 10 locations across the province, the Bail Safety Project provides trained teams of Crown prosecutors, victim services staff and police to conduct in-depth interviews with victims of domestic violence at the bail stage. This is a time of high risk for victims. The government has provided $11 million over three years to help identify high-risk situations, allowing Crown prosecutors to make better recommendations at bail hearings to help stop the cycle of violence.
Victim Support Line
The Victim Support Line is a free provincewide information line providing services in English and French, including referrals to community agencies, information on the criminal justice system and information to registered clients about the status and scheduled release date of provincially incarcerated offenders.
Combating Internet Child Pornography and Luring
A comprehensive, five-part, $5 million strategy is being implemented to combat Internet child pornography and offer support to victims and refer them to appropriate community services. It includes:
Hate Crimes Community Working Group
The government established the Hate Crimes Community Working Group in December 2005. The Working Group tabled more than 80 recommendations aimed at improving services to victims of hate crimes and preventing further victimization.
Community HAte-crimes Response Grants Program (CHARG)
The government is investing $1.35 million in this program, which responds to several recommendations of the Hate Crimes Community Working Group. Four kinds of community-based initiatives are being funded under this program:
Nishnawbe Aski Nation
The Nishnawbe Aski Nation is receiving more than $700,000 over three years to provide services to male victims in northern Aboriginal communities who have suffered sexual abuse.
Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic
The clinic is a multi-service agency for female victims of violence in Toronto. The Ministry of the Attorney General provides $300,000 in annual funding for a specialized legal service for assaulted women at the clinic.
Victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking in 20 Ontario locations can access intensive safety planning and 911-programmed cell phones through this program.
Ministry of the Attorney General
For further information: Greg Crone, Ministry of the Attorney General, Minister's Office, (416) 326-1785; Brendan Crawley, Ministry of the Attorney General, Communications Branch, (416) 326-2210