Ontario Strengthening Services for Survivors of Violence and Exploitation
February 10, 2022
The Ontario government is addressing the growing strain on services due to COVID-19 by
investing $3.6 million to rural frontline agencies. Locally, the YWCA Peterborough Haliburton will
be receiving $142,949 to support the Haliburton Emergency SafeSpace (HERS) program along
with an additional $8,272 for training initiatives. The Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre will also
be receiving $55,088 to deliver crucial services and supports to survivors of human trafficking
and women who experienced violence.
“The YWCA Peterborough Haliburton and Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre provide services to
the most vulnerable members of our community,” said Laurie Scott, MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock. “This funding will help ensure they can continue to deliver supports and
operate local shelters during the pandemic, especially for those who are in rural and remote
areas and face transportation barriers.”
“Victims of domestic violence and human trafficking require quality and timely support. This
funding will strengthen the support our community offers for survivors,” MPP Dave Smith said.
“This is part of our overall $307 million, nation-leading strategy to combat human trafficking and
support survivors wherever we can,” MPP Smith added.
The additional investment will provide agencies with more resources, strengthen culturally
responsive supports for Indigenous women, and reduce geographic and transportation barriers
which will significantly improve access to quality care and services to victims in rural and remote
“YWCA Peterborough Haliburton deeply appreciates the support of the Ontario’s Ministry of
Children, Community and Social Services for their commitment to continued funding for the
Haliburton Emergency SafeSpace (HERS) program,” said Kim Dolan, Executive Director,
YWCA Peterborough Haliburton. “Now more than ever, violence intervention services for
women in geographically isolated areas in the province are in demand. Calls to HERS and the
Women’s Centre from women experiencing gender-based violence have increased throughout
the pandemic. We are here to help with safety planning, shelter from violence, and supportive
“Someone’s location should not act as a barrier to access quality care and services,” said Jane
McKenna, Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues. “We want to make sure that
everyone affected by violence and sexual exploitation receive the supports they need, no matter
where they are in the province.”
The ministry will work collaboratively with rural service providers to deliver targeted localized
supports and implement projects that build positive outcomes for women living in or from rural
Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre project Description:
This funding will be used to support a collaborative project between Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre (KSAC) and Niijkiwendidaa Anishnaabekwewag Services Circle (NASC). KSAC and NASC will provide events, conferences and workshops within out First Nations communities (Curve Lake First Nation, Alderville First Nation, Hiawartha First Nation). This project will include public education in these areas to provide education and prevention on Human-Trafficking and Exploitation. With the support of both KSAC and NASC, there will also be opportunity to discuss our services and supports and provide those services to the individuals in these communities who are survivors of human trafficking.
The $3.6 million investment will also help promote awareness of available local services, address service gaps and build community capacity to support women in rural and remote communities who have experienced violence and sex trafficking.
• As a result of COVID-19, women and gender-diverse Ontarians have faced additional
challenges, such as increased economic insecurity, greater burden of caregiving
responsibilities and a rise in the incidence of domestic violence and human trafficking.
Ontario established the Ontario’s Task Force on Women and the Economy to identify
how the government can address these challenges.
• Ontario’s Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy represents the largest total investment
dedicated to anti-human trafficking supports and services in Canada.
• Ontario provides up to $40 million in relief funding for residential service providers that
support vulnerable populations.
• Ontario releases Pathways to Safety: Ontario’s Strategy in Response to the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.