March 8th, 2018

Sexual assault services need adequate and sustained funding

Funding through the Sexual Violence Strategy ends March 31

Halifax - The McNeil government is ignoring calls from service providers for important funding for sexual assault services in the province. Funding available through the provincial Sexual Violence Strategy for trauma-informed services will end on March 31.

“Sexualized violence is a systemic and long-standing issue that requires sustained funding, not just short-term programs,” said NDP Status of Women Spokesperson Lenore Zann. “Cutting funding to organizations supporting victims and survivors, at a time when there is a growing movement to end sexualized violence, demonstrates that this Liberal government is out of step with the needs of women in this province.”

The Sexual Assault Services Network of Nova Scotia requested a meeting with Stephen McNeil to discuss the gap in services. The letter to the Premier was sent at the beginning of February but the Premier has yet to respond.

“Thanks to additional resources through the strategy, we have been able to build increased awareness and a more robust response to sexualized violence,” said Shelley Curtis-Thompson, Executive Director of Pictou County Women’s Resource and Sexual Assault Centre. “Without ongoing funding our ability to respond to community needs will be limited.”

Today, the NDP Caucus introduced legislation to mandate sexual assault policies on university and college campuses. In December, Zann met with sexual assault service providers to discuss the needs and priorities for sexual assault prevention and support services.

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