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G-W Women in Crisis receive funding to support survivors of human trafficking in rural areas

Province invested $3.6 million in local rural frontline support agencies across Ontario for survivors of human trafficking and sexual violence
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Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis building at Elizabeth Street. GuelphToday file photo

Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis recently received provincial funding as part of the provincial government’s investment of $3.6 million in rural frontline support agencies for survivors of human trafficking and sexual violence. 

“The grant will help to enhance is our ability to continue rural support for human trafficking and sexual violence particularly around anti-human trafficking literature locally,” said Jensen Williams, public educator for Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis.

“We’ve actually received some of this funding already which has helped us hire someone to help support the public education work around anti-human trafficking in Wellington County.”

On Jan. 21, the province announced in a press release its recent investment of $3.6 million in rural frontline agencies that support survivors of human trafficking and women who have experienced violence. 

The additional investment was reportedly made to provide agencies with more resources, strengthen culturally responsive supports for Indigenous women, and reduce geographic and transportation barriers which will significantly improve access to quality care and services to victims in rural and remote communities. 

The $3.6 million investment includes:

  • Up to $2.4 million to enhance the capacity of service providers to deliver crisis and community support and improve access to services for women who have experienced violence in a rural community, including Indigenous-led services.
  • Up to $1.2 million to improve access to culturally responsive anti-human trafficking services and supports in rural and remote communities, including Indigenous communities.

Jensen noted that they cannot disclose to the public how much of the funding Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis have received, but they are putting the funding towards public education campaigns on human trafficking and sexual violence across the county. 

“Currently, we’re working on an advertisement campaign which will help raise awareness on the anti-human trafficking program we’re offering to the public. This program will particularly be available to residents living in Wellington County,” said Williams.

“We’re also planning an awareness event on human trafficking awareness day on Feb. 22, which will be a virtual event from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. We’ll be talking about the impacts of human trafficking as part of that event.”

Williams noted that she believes the provincial funding will help expand the support for survivors but also help increase the public’s level of awareness about human trafficking and sexual violence.

“I think it is a positive recognition and acknowledgement that human trafficking does happen in rural areas and that there are support services locally to help survivors,” she said. 

“Also, it’s really important that we need to raise awareness about the fact that human trafficking both exist in Wellington County but also there are ways to prevent it.”

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Angelica Babiera, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

About the Author: Angelica Babiera, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Angelica Babiera is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter covering Wellington County. The LJI is funded by the Government of Canada
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