Ontario Providing Support to Victims and Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence and Human Trafficking in Durham Region

Funding will strengthen local prevention efforts and help keep community safe

NEWSApril 7, 2022

WHITBY — The Ontario government is investing $5.9 million over two years through the Victim Support Grant (VSG) program to enhance capacity to support survivors of intimate partner violence and human trafficking, including a grant of $200,000.00 for the Region of Durham.  

The grant will help Durham Regional Police Services to improve support and outreach services for victims of violence. Durham Regional Police Services is one of 37 police services working in collaboration with local organizations and community partners across the province to receive this funding, which is being provided with support from the federal government. Of the 37 projects funded, 17 will focus on addressing the needs of Indigenous survivors or strengthening relationships with Indigenous organizations and communities.

“Our Government recognizes victims and survivors of intimate partner violence and human trafficking require specialized supports and services that are tailored to their unique needs,” said Lorne Coe, MPP for Whitby and Chief Government Whip. “This is yet another step the Province is taking to support those at risk and support more survivors in the Region of Durham.”

“Intimate partner violence and human trafficking are heinous crimes that can have devastating impacts. That is why our government is protecting those at risk and supporting survivors,” said Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General. “With this new investment, police services and community partners across the province will work together to help more survivors and at-risk individuals get the supports they need where and when they need them most.”

Funding from the VSG program will be used to assist a variety of projects and initiatives across the province, including:

  • Establishing comprehensive wrap-around resources, supports and services for survivors and at-risk individuals through enhanced police and community partner collaboration
  • Supporting specialized intervention programs for suspected or confirmed instances of intimate partner violence or human trafficking
  • Providing specialized training to law enforcement (frontline officers, speciality unit officers and civilian members), support personnel and community members
  • Increasing technology and equipment to enhance police investigation capacity, improve evidence collection, as well as provide survivors with the option to complete interviews remotely
  • Providing survivors with a safe and friendly environment such as “soft interview rooms” in police stations or private sleeping quarters when finding refuge in a shelter
  • Creating environments that are culturally safe, respectful and responsive to provide survivors, witnesses and their families/support systems with a private, safe and comfortable place to participate in spiritual/cultural healing and customs
  • Launching culturally responsive education and awareness campaigns to inform at-risk groups about the signs of intimate partner violence or human trafficking

To qualify for this grant, police services are required to work in collaboration with a community agency or Indigenous community with expertise in supporting survivors through a different sector such as justice, housing, education, health/mental health, community and social services, and children and youth services.

“Intimate partner violence affects people of all genders, ages, racial, ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds though women are three and a half times more likely than men to be victimized,” said Jane McKenna, Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues. ” “This new funding will help provide survivors and those at risk, with specialized supports and resources to ensure their safety and help rebuild their lives.”

As part of Ontario’s Guns, Gangs and Violence Reduction Strategy, this grant supports the overall investment to combat gun violence and gang-related activities, including human trafficking. Since 2018, Ontario, with the help of the federal government, has allocated approximately $187 million through the strategy.

The VSG program also complements the province’s $307-million Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy 2020-2025 and Combating Human Trafficking Act, 2021, which aims to support survivors and hold offenders accountable.


  • The current two-year grant cycle under the VSG program is supported in part by the federal government’s Initiative to Take Action Against Gun and Gang Violence, which includes a total investment of more than $65 million over five years for Ontario’s Guns, Gangs and Violence Reduction Strategy.
  • Current funding is for project costs incurred in 2021-22 and 2022-23 fiscal years. The maximum funding for each project is $200,000 (i.e., $100,000 per funding year).