Sexual violence: out of breath due to lack of money

For fifteen years, provincial funding for Toronto’s Sexual Abuse Crisis Center/Multicultural Women Against Rape (Toronto Rape Crisis Center/Multicultural Women Against RapeTRCC/MWAR) has hardly increased, says Deb Singh, who works there as a consultant and activist.

The non-profit help center receives $ 620,000 annually from the Ontario government, out of an average annual budget of $ 750,000, the difference covered by fundraising and scholarships.

But his center has seen increasing demand for its services by at least 20% over the past two years.

Unfortunately, people are asking for more services, more types of services and more complex support because they are experiencing more sexual violence.said Deb Singh, who is also president of the Ontario Coalition of Sexual Abuse Support Centers (Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centers), an organization that brings together 31 English-language support centers for victims of sexual violence across the province.

A survey conducted earlier this year by the organization indicates that 81% of them saw an increase in calls made to their listening lines and messaging services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many of these centers were funded at levels similar to those in the 1990s, as the demand for services reflects the diminishing stigma and now more and more people want to talk about sexual violence.explains Nicole Pietsch, who also works for the coalition.

Long waiting list and cut services

The Executive Director of the Waterloo Region Sexual Abuse Support Center (Waterloo Region Sexual Assault Support Center), Sara Casselman, said that before the pandemic, the latter was already faced with a demand too high for her so.

Since COVID-19 started, the demand for individual consultations at the center has increased by 58%. Currently, 260 people are awaiting consultation.

We are facing a series of crises, so now, after 33 years of existence, our waiting list has not been that long. »

A quote from Sara Casselman, Executive Director, Waterloo Region Sexual Abuse Support Center

He added that these long waiting lists often encourage victims of sexual violence to seek help.

The situation is even worse in areas far from major centers, where distance makes access to support services difficult, he said.

Deb Singh said the waiting list at the center where she works was highest in 2017, with an 18 -month wait. The center was able to reduce this thanks to the help of many volunteers, among other things, but may soon have to cut some programs due to lack of funding.

We’ll probably have to cut our courier service if we can’t get more funding, which is something young people need more than ever.he moaned.

The province can do better

In 2018, the provincial Liberal government promised to increase funding for support centers in Ontario. The Progressive Conservative government, however, did not live up to the promise of the Liberals when it was elected in June of that year.

According to Sara Casselman, this money would have been a big help for organizations, especially during a pandemic, when many of them had to set up online services.

The Waterloo Region Help Center where he works receives less than $ 440,000 from the Ontario government annually, out of an annual budget of $ 2 million.

Even if the government does not increase our budget to keep up with inflation, it will even more to meet the rising demandsighed Sara Casselman.

He said the increase promised by the Liberal government would allow his organization to hire two full-time advisers as well as one person who specializes in legal support.

Deb Singh explained that the Doug Ford government has allocated about $ 2 million to fight human trafficking in 2019. The money is divided between 42 help centers across the province.

000$, d’autres ont reçu 25000$…17000$ ne permettent pas d’éliminer des listes d’attente, ni de bien payer les gens ou de produire les résultats souhaités par le gouvernement”,”text”:”Certains centres ont reçu 17000$, d’autres ont reçu 25000$…17000$ ne permettent pas d’éliminer des listes d’attente, ni de bien payer les gens ou de produire les résultats souhaités par le gouvernement”}}”>Some centers received $ 17,000, others received $ 25,000 … $ 17,000 does not eliminate waiting lists, does not pay people well or produces the results desired by the governmenthe says.

We are a beautiful country. We have a way to do better. »

A quote from Deb Singh, President of the Ontario Coalition of Sexual Violence Support Centers

CBC/Radio-Canada contacted the Ontario Liberal Party and the Progressive Conservative Party to get feedback on their commitments to sexual violence crisis centers, but they did not respond within time.

With information from Carmen Groleau, CBC.

Leave a Comment