Victim Services of Leeds & Grenville will receive $50,500 as Ontario takes emergency action to address the recent spike in domestic violence reported by victims services organizations during the COVID-19 crisis.
Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes MPP Steve Clark made the announcement as part of the more than $2.7 million the province is providing 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.
The emergency funding is in addition to the annual funding allocation Victims Services of Leeds & Grenville receives from the Ministry of the Attorney General.
“This emergency payment will ensure victims of crime, particularly those who are experiencing domestic violence, can get the help they need to stay safe and healthy during this crisis,” said MPP Clark. “I also want to take this opportunity to thank the remarkable staff at our local Victim Services organization for their invaluable work, which has been made even more challenging in recent weeks.”
“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.
This additional one-time emergency payment will help more than 50 community agencies across Ontario – including victim crisis assistance organizations, 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 hotel stays and transportation and meal vouchers.
“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,” said Ontario Network of Victim Service Provider President, Sheri MacDonald. “The Attorney General and his staff under- stand what we’re facing on the front lines and his cooperation and decisive action make a true difference for our clients.”