Staying home is not always the safest option in some households and the province is taking emergency action during the COVID-19 crisis to support victims of domestic violence.
The government of Ontario is providing an emergency payment of more than $2.7 million 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.
“This emergency payment will ensure victims of crime, particularly those who are experiencing domestic violence, get the help they need to stay safe and healthy during this crisis,” Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West said Tuesday.
Victim Services Niagara, providing victim assistance across Niagara, will receive $50,500.00 as part of this one-time emergency payment in addition to its annual funding allocation from the Ministry of the Attorney General.
This additional one-time emergency payment will help more than 50 community agencies across Ontario, including victim crisis assistance organizations (VCAOs), 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 hotels stays, and transportation and meal vouchers available through the Victim Quick Response Program Plus (VQRP+).
“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.