Funding has helped Oakville charity support victims of gender-based violence

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Published May 26, 2023 at 10:49 am

Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Services of Halton (SAVIS) is making a difference when it comes to helping victims of gender-based violence.

Gender-based violence is one of the most pervasive, deadly, and deeply rooted human rights violations of our time and prevention and support services like the Oakville charity are essential as gender equality cannot be achieved without addressing this critical issue.

SAVIS of Halton has been providing robust services, resources, and supports serving the urgent needs of those experiencing gender-based violence and at the centre of that work has been their Trauma and Cultural Informed Crisis Line Survivors project.

Earlier this week, Oakville MP and Minister of National Defence Anita Anand, on behalf of the Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, met with representatives of SAVIS Halton to highlight the progress of their project

Through the project, SAVIS Halton has been engaging with Indigenous and 2SLGBTQI+ victims and survivors of gender-based violence, which ensures trauma- and culturally-informed programming.

A key to the success of the project has been SAVIS Halton receiving almost $110,000 from Women’s and Gender Equality Canada in December 2022.

The federal funding allowed SAVIS of Halton to hire a crisis-line coordinator for the first time and to update the training curriculum for their crisis-line volunteers, which is now aligned with best-practices and includes a trauma-informed perspective.

This curriculum was developed following an extensive intersectional consultation with those who are traditionally marginalized and under-represented in decisions, in particular the 2SLGBTQI+ and Indigenous communities. They are currently piloting the revised material.

“This grant through Women and Gender Equality Canada, is providing SAVIS the opportunity to support survivors of sexual assault and gender-based violence with trauma informed services,” said Silvia Samsa, Executive Director, (SAVIS) of Halton.

“SAVIS is collaborating with an advisory committee, community agencies and stakeholders to bring forth guiding principles, training modules and community resources.”

This funding is part of the approximately $601.3 million that the Government of Canada committed through Budget 2021 to increase efforts to end gender-based violence.

“I am grateful for the crucial work that SAVIS does in Oakville and Halton. Thanks to this federal grant of approximately $110,000, SAVIS is expanding its services by bolstering its staff and volunteer network – enabling it to assist many more survivors who need this support,” said Anand on behalf of Ien.

“We will continue to strengthen survivor-centric support services and work to ensure that no one is left behind in our Oakville community.”

As part of the project, SAVIS of Halton has worked with partners Nina’s Place and Victim Services  to develop a video for those who have experienced sexual violence, showing how the three services, medical, legal and crisis counselling support, work together to provide wrap-around care.

It is due to be released at the end of May.

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