(TORONTO, ON) – Following a call for applications to all police services in Ontario, including municipal and First Nation police services as well as the OPP, Ontario’s Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services has allocated a total of approximately $1.8 million over two years for funding to support survivors of sexual assault.
Locally, the OPP in Essex County, through their Project Believe-Empower-Support-Together (BEST) will receive an allocated $108,879. Project BEST will establish a youth committee and a committee comprised of police, organizations which provide treatment and support to survivors of sexual violence, and the children’s aid society.
These committees will advise police on how to improve training and police responses to sexual violence cases, leading to the development of new training. In addition, officers will work with the local high schools to educate, share resources, and develop new strategies to engage youth.
The Windsor Police’s Supporting Police Response to Sexual Violence and Harassment program has been awarded $133,649.
A new online tool will allow complainants to make a report online in their own privacy and at a time of their choosing, reducing barriers to reporting to police. If victims indicate they do not want police involvement, resource materials and counseling services will be made available.
Additionally, they will be given the option of speaking to an experienced investigator and, if they choose, keeping their identity unknown through online communication.