To ensure that “no door is the wrong door” for survivors of sexual violence, the province is asking community organizations to submit proposals that will help make services better and more accessible across Nova Scotia.
After months of holding workshops and consultations with a number of interested groups the government is reaching out to organizations to put forward their specific ideas about how to improve service delivery. Their input helped shape the criteria for new services that will address physical and geographical needs, and be provided in safe and welcoming settings.
In April, Premier Darrell Dexter created an Action Team on Sexual Violence and Bullying and appointed Marilyn More, Minister responsible for the Advisory Council on the Status of Women, to lead the work.
“It’s critically important that people have access to a variety of services through multiple entry points,” said Ms. More. “That’s what we have been hearing from our conversations with survivors and their families, and with service providers, groups and organizations. We are now looking to the community to help us make that happen through community models of response to sexual violence.”
The call for proposals will be open until November while the deadline for letters of intent is Sept. 20. The selection process will be led by the Department of Health and Wellness. Community projects should focus on addressing unmet needs, including gaps and must not duplicate services. Projects may enhance existing services or explore the feasibility of establishing new services and be available in remote and rural areas.
Over two years, $700,000 will be distributed to successful applicants. The funding is part of government’s $1.1 million-dollar investment to improve services for survivors of sexual violence.
“Sexual violence is a serious public health and social justice issue,” said David Wilson, Minister of Health and Wellness. “We need to make it easier for people who have been hurt to get help, no matter where they live.
“We want to invest in projects that are innovative, collaborative, accessible, that reflect our diversity, and that increase our ability to respond and reach out to those who need help.”
In May, the province provided emergency funding to community organizations that experienced an increased demand for services. In July, the province awarded $200,000 to 13 projects that support and foster more collaboration and partnership between organizations that address sexual violence. That money could also go to developing proposals for potential demonstration projects.