Funding Cuts to Rape Crisis Centres

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WINDSOR — The head of the Sexual Assault Crisis Centre of Essex County is warning the wait lists for victims and survivors to get help will increase.

Lydia Fiorini made the comments after the Doug Ford government cut $1-million in funding for 42 rape crisis centres across the province.

"Prior to the Ford government, the actual Liberals had promised more money over and above the $1-million," says Fiorini.  "So what had happened is they did this assessment and needs study and realized that a lot of the rape crisis centre including us, have waiting lists."

Speaking on the Afternoon News, Fiorini says  more and more people are seeking help following the MeToo movement and along with a funding cut, services will be impacted.

"As you are getting more and more people coming forward, imagine you couldn't already deal  with the demand for services and now you have this movement that increase public awareness which results in more people coming forward," says Fiorini. 

Fiorini says the pressure on the centres will increase.

"We are, at this point in our history, have more and more people coming forward wanting services and our getting less dollars, so those wait times will go up," she adds.

Thursday afternoon, the Ford government announced in the Legislature it was adding $2-million.

But the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres says they were told later, the money was specifically for work with human trafficking victims, not to help address wait lists or to work with survivors between 12 and 16 years old.
 

--With files from AM800's Patty Handysides