More victims of sexual violence throughout the province will benefit from improved services through funding for community-based projects.
Community Services Minister Joanne Bernard today, Feb. 10, announced the community groups that will receive funding announced in May as part of the work of the Action Team on Sexual Violence and Bullying.
In August, community organizations were invited to submit expressions of interest for projects to improve services for survivors of sexual violence.
The funding will allow communities to improve supports for victims, which will also guide the prevention and education sections of the province’s first sexual violence strategy.
“Government is committed to helping victims of sexual violence and building the capacity of communities to provide support and services to victims,” said Ms. Bernard. “Effectively addressing sexual violence requires a long-term commitment by all of us, government, community and citizens. Enhancing local communities’ ability to respond to victims is an initial, and important, step for us to address the broader issue together.”
The projects will allow communities to explore innovative ways to better meet the needs of sexual violence victims while increasing collaboration among people and organizations.
Funding will be provided to the Every Women’s Centre in Sydney, the Central Nova Women’s Resource Centre in Truro, the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Society in Halifax, Second Story Women’s Centre in Lunenburg, The Red Door in Kentville and the Tri-County Women’s Centre in Yarmouth.
“Second Story Women’s Centre applauds the government’s decision to fund community-based women’s centres and to develop a provincial strategy to address the sexual violence which continues to ravage girls and women, boys and men in communities here in Lunenburg and Queens counties and across Nova Scotia,” said Jeanne Fay, executive director of Second Story.
“With this funding, we can work toward a woman-centred, collaborative model of sexual-assault service delivery, where anyone who reports sexual violence will be cared for and supported from the beginning of the process to its conclusion. This will be a huge improvement and hopefully encourage more women to come forward and seek help.”
Each recipient will receive $55,000 a year over two years, and will work collaboratively to improve service delivery, responses and co-ordinate services. Examples are creating sexual response teams, identifying training needs and developing response procedures. Recipients will also work with the sexual violence strategy co-chairs to develop evaluation tools to measure service delivery results.
The projects, and insight from across the province, will help develop the province’s first sexual violence strategy.
“These projects are an example of the good work communities do to address sexual violence,” said Ms. Bernard. “As we move forward with Nova Scotia’s sexual violence strategy, the exploring opportunities to partner with communities will be a priority. We will incorporate their wisdom, realities and innovation.”