Funding for anti-violence strategy may miss the mark

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Earlier this month Women’s Issues Minister Harinder Malhi announced a $242 million strategy to combat sexual and domestic violence designed to improve programming, provide free legal advice to those reporting assault anywhere in the province, and to explore the idea of restorative justice. But some women’s activists as well as many people believe that the money may be spread too thin and may not be enough to really tackle the issue. Furthermore, certain regions of the country have a more severe problem with violence against women.

In the Peel Region alone five women have been killed and gender violence is an issue that often happens behind closed doors and is seldom reported.

Here are some of the things this funding is expected to address.

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• Improving services and supports, expanding counselling, improving access to emergency shelters, transitional housing and Indigenous shelters and healing lodges
• Intervening early to help youth who have seen or experienced violence, including supports for children in shelters and reducing the wait-list for the Child Witness program;
• Using public education and training for service providers, communities and bystanders to change attitudes and help them recognize and respond to gender-based violence;
• Justice system improvements including free legal advice to survivors of sexual assault, and alternative options for gender-based violence survivors.

All this is good but what some concerns are the funding formula as an issue.

Peel has a major concern for social and community health services. – CINEWS

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