Ontario is investing $1.5 million in funding for rural frontline agencies to increase collaboration, strengthen service delivery, improve culturally relevant supports for Indigenous women, and reduce geographic and transportation barriers. This funding builds on the government's current investment of $174.5 million in funding for violence against women services.
Survivors of violence often need transportation to counselling and legal appointments, access to safe beds, and services that protect their privacy, particularly for those living in close-knit communities. Funding will help promote awareness of these kinds of local services, address service gaps and build community capacity to support women in rural and remote communities who have experienced violence and sex trafficking.
The ministry will work collaboratively with service agencies and partners to enable rural service providers to deliver targeted localized supports and implement projects that build positive outcomes for women living in or from rural communities.
- Rural and remote communities with relatively low population density, that are far from urban centres and are without year-round road access tend to have limited local service options.
- Police-reported rates of violence against women are higher in non-census metropolitan areas, including small cities, towns and rural areas, than within census metropolitan areas.
- Indigenous women are three times more likely to be a victim of a violent crime and three times more likely to experience spousal violence than non-Indigenous women.
- Survivors of sex trafficking from rural or remote communities often have to move outside of their community to access specialized services that meet their unique needs and are in a safe location away from their traffickers.