Posted on Jan 24, 2020
"OAITH's work on Femicide tells an indisputable fact; gender-based violence is killing women in Ontario. A plan for longer-term investments, backed by measurable outcomes in the prevention of gender-based violence and femicide is urgently needed" -Marlene Ham, Executive Director
OAITH has prepared a Pre Budget Submission for Ontario's Ford Government to address Gender-Based Violence. Our recommendations are clear and we urgently need to do something to prevent, intervene and respond to gender-based violence in Ontario. Read our 2020 Pre Budget Submission to learn more
From Toronto, to Thunder Bay to Belleville, Violence Against Women Shelter's brought forth their recommendations and concerns. Read the transcripts from presentations made to the committee by OAITH, Faye Peterson, Three Oaks and YWCA Toronto
Put forth your own submission to the Minister of Finance by February 11th, 2020.
Written submissions can be sent to:
The Honourable Rod Phillips
Minister of Finance
c/o Budget Secretariat
Frost Building North, 3rd floor
95 Grosvenor Street
Toronto ON M7A 1Z1
OAITH Recommendations made to the Standing Committee on Finance & Economic Affairs on January 17th, 2020
1: Annualize all fiscal enhancement investments to VAW funded agencies
through MCCSS from the 2019 Provincial Budget.
Fiscal enhancements received for shelter, counselling, transitional support, rural
realities and for children and youth services in the 2018 and 2019 Budget have
provided much needed relief to address capacity issues, safer workplaces and
increasing the number of women and children we serve. Without annualizing this
funding, it is not possible to plan for staffing and service-delivery in a sustainable
way. The fiscal enhancements received in 2019 are directly funding core services and need to be added to their core funding to provide the best value for money and the best outcomes for women and their children.
2: Include mental health and addiction counselling and support services in
VAW shelters as part of their core programming through the Mental Health
& Addictions Strategy
OAITH’s report Shelter Realities (2017) highlights the need for an inter-ministerial
approach to funding the programs and services in shelter. These recommendations
clearly outline the current tipping point of VAW shelters and the need for traumainformed + substance use staffing, overdose prevention, and programming to be
made available inside VAW shelters as part of their core programming.
3. Increase investments for MAG-funded Violence Against Women services,
including the Family Court Support Worker Program (FCSWP).
Demand for services continues to increase, while the level of funding has remained
the same. FCSWP helps to keep women safe and supported, while helping the
Family Court system run more efficiently. Sexual Assault Centres are being forced
to make survivors wait. Partner Assault Response Programs, Victim Witness
Assistance Programs, and Victim Services are all deserving of the resources
required so that we can effectively respond together. We need to ensure the whole
system of supports is stabilized, so that we can stop the bottleneck service crisis.
4. Move forward with a comprehensive action plan, attached to investments,
to prevent, effectively respond and improve outcomes.
Gender-based violence is a complex social problem that won’t be solved by one
sector, or through one ministry. The approach requires collaboration between
ministries and service providers, with concrete planning, strategic vision and
targeted investments over the next 2 years, with clear measurements to improve
outcomes guided by expert advice from the sector.
5: Invest in decent, accessible and affordable housing that offers flexibility;
new transitional housing spaces, affordable stock and portable benefits.
Women can’t leave if they have nowhere to go. Women can’t remain free if it’s not
affordable. It’s cheaper to invest in the short term then it is to continue responding
to violence over the long term.
6: Invest in community-based primary prevention programs.
If we want to end gender-based violence, we must prevent it from happening in the
first place. While we’ve built up a sector to intervene early to provide immediate
safety, the most efficient way is to ensure it stops before it even starts. Money
invested in prevention is money saved in policing, health and social services.
7: Income support programs, employment/education opportunities and access
to affordable child care that are specifically designed to support survivors of
Existing income support programs are not adequately responding to the needs of
women fleeing violence. We need to create the conditions to lift women and
children out of poverty, so that they can move onto a violence free life for their
families. Designing poverty reduction pilot programs specifically for survivors of
gender-based violence could help us measure progress and outcomes and lead to
innovate approaches to ending violence against women.