Manitoba government spends $6.4M to boost victim of crime supports offered by 24 agencies
$850K will go to agencies supporting survivors of sexual violence
Two dozen community organizations will receive over $6 million combined from the Manitoba government to develop programs that help victims of crime, Justice Minister Cameron Friesen announced Thursday.
The province will spend $6.4 million on programs that address the various need of victims of crime. The money comes from a "reallocation of surplus funds" from the Manitoba government's Victim's Assistance Fund, a news release says.
"We hear a lot in the news about the social impacts of crime, we hear a lot about the effects of crime in our communities, the impact it has on families. We don't often hear about the personal costs," said Friesen during a news conference.
"We understand that many victims of crime, especially violent crime, live with the effects of crime long after an offence has occurred."
Part of the money will go to Indigenous-led agencies that are developing projects to address violence against Indigenous women and girls, as well as LGBTQ people, Friesen said.
A number of community organizations that are developing new or expanded programs to help victims of crime and gender-based violence, or are responding to MMIWG inquiry recommendations, will also receive money, he said.
The 24 agencies will develop programming that ensures victims of crime receive a range of community-based supports, like culturally-based, trauma-informed supports such as counselling and healing, crisis services and peer support, he said.
MKO to launch new project
Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. (MKO) is one of the organizations receiving part of the provincial funding.
Its Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls liaison unit will be launching a project that aims to get Indigenous men and boys involved in ending domestic violence against First Nations women and LGBTQ people, MKO said in a news release issued Thursday.
"We need to build new ways and initiatives that deal with and confront gender-based violence, while also empowering women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people," said MKO Grand Chief Garrison Settee in the release.
"It is important that we show leadership by engaging men and boys to take an active part in the prevention and elimination of gender-based violence."
The project — called Indigenous men and boys are part of the solution to building healthy and safe communities — will develop and implement land-based cultural programming to prevent and intervene in male-perpetrated domestic violence against women, girls and LGBTQ people on reserves in northern Manitoba, the release says.
The project will develop tools for men and boys to restore their "natural inclination" for respect, peace and healthy relationships, and teach them the impacts of violence on their victims, the victims' families, themselves and the community overall, the release says.
The initiative itself will last three years — but its impacts are expected to last for generations, the release says.
The project also addresses two calls for justice from the MMIWG inquiry, it adds.
$800K going to 3 agencies that help survivors of sexual violence
Of the provincial funding announced Thursday, $850,000 combined is earmarked for agencies that offer supports to survivors of sexual violence — but most of that is going to three agencies.
Minister for Status of Women Cathy Cox announced Thursday that Ka Ni Kanichihk, an Indigenous-led organization in Winnipeg, will receive $200,000 to expand capacity at its Heart Medicine Lodge, which offers supports for Indigenous survivors of sexual assault.
Survivor's Hope Crisis Centre, which is based in Pinawa, Man., and offers various helplines, will receive $300,000 to expand its sexual assault programming to cover more of rural Manitoba, and explore whether a community sexual assault centre is feasible, Cox said.
The Women's Regional Resource Centre in Brandon, Man., will also get $300,000 to establish crisis-based sexual assault services in the western Manitoba city.
Cox did not specify where the remaining $50,000 would go.
Dodie Jordan of Ka Ni Kanichihk attended Thursday's news conference. She was thinking of how much the announced funding will help hundreds of people in the community.
"It's not easy for anyone to trust somebody enough to come forward and say the things they need to say, to do the healing work that they need to do," Jordan said.
"Finding a place in your community where you can do that and have people who work there — who you love and trust — is probably one of the most important pieces of doing this work.
"This will allow us to to reach more people and do more heart work," she said, adding that much of the work her organization does is lead by people's hearts.