Ontario government providing $2.7M in support for victims of violent crimes during COVID-19 outbreak

 

Attorney General Doug Downey announced Thursday emergency action aimed to support victims of crime and protect front-line staff who continue to uphold the administration of justice in response to COVID-19.

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 during the COVID-19 crisis.

“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 Downey.

“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.”

The provincial government says the 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.

The funds are expected to 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 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.

“The Attorney General and his staff understand what we’re facing on the front lines and his cooperation and decisive action make a true difference for our clients.”

The Ford government also says it is investing $1.3 million in technology to help courts and tribunals continue the transition to remote operations. Investments include additional laptops, conference lines and doubling the complement of digital recording devices for court use.

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