Niagara Area MPP Urges Ontario’s Ford Government to give province’s Sexual Assault Centres more support

Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch

“We need to ask ourselves: Why is it that in this period of heightened awareness, … we cannot ensure that help (for sexual assault victims) is available? We have a social responsibility to all victims and survivors to make sure they can access properly funded services.” – Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch

A Share from the Constituency Office of Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch

Posted April 4th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

A Statement delivered by Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch this past Wednesday, April 3rd in the LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF ONTARIO

Mr. Jeff Burch: “Recently, I had the privilege of meeting with Lisa Berketo, the administrative coordinator with the Niagara Region Sexual Assault Centre. She described the dire straits they find themselves in due to a lack of proper sustainable funding.

We are living in a time when more victims and survivors of rape, sexual violence and sexual abuse are choosing to speak out about their experiences. However, many cannot access the support they want and need, including free counselling services, because there is an ever-growing waiting list.

This agency is most certainly grateful for the funding that is provided from the Attorney General’s office. The rest of their funding comes from generous local donations, grants and fundraising activities. Administration is bare-bones, accounting for 11% of its budget. They now have no idea what additional funds there will be for this year.

We need to ask ourselves: Why is it that in this period of heightened awareness, and with a stated government commitment, we cannot ensure that help is available? We have a social responsibility to all victims and survivors to make sure they can access properly funded services.

As noted by Ms. Berketo during our meeting, with unprecedented growth in demand, coupled with the lack of funding resources, this agency’s very existence is threatened, and that will have dire consequences for victims and survivors.

This government must provide the Niagara Region Sexual Assault Centre with sustainable, multi-year funding so that it can continue to carry on with the work it has been doing across our region for over 40 years.”

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“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders

 

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