The federal government is working with state governments as part of bilateral agreements to support crisis hotlines.
Canada's Minister for Women, Gender Equality and Youth, Marci Ien, along with Manitoba's Minister for Women, Rochelle Squires, announced her funding in Winnipeg on Wednesday.
Her $30 million funding from the federal government will support crisis hotlines across Canada after the government enters into bilateral agreements with each province and territory.
Demand for crisis hotlines and the services they provide increased significantly during the pandemic, she said. Funds will go to crisis hotlines that provide more resources and support to prevent gender-based violence.
"During theCOVID-19 pandemic, there was a huge spike in calls to the Crisis Center, sometimes reaching volume limits," she said. increase.
“We know these hotlines are a lifeline for women fleeing domestic violence because they are a vital link to services that keep women safe. The investment is another step towards helping survivors and making Canada safer for all.”
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Squires said Manitoba, the first state to sign the bilateral agreement, has one of the highest rates of intimate partner and family violence in the nation.
``This violence primarily affects women and girls, and affects rural, remote and northern communities. It disproportionately affects the people who live there: indigenous peoples; people of color; and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people," she said.
“Supporting access to those dealing with gender-based violence through crisis hotlines is critical to ensuring that affected Manitoba people receive essential support services.
Those working in the area say they have witnessed a great deal of suffering.
Dr. Andrew Lodge, his Director of Medical at the Winnipeg Clinic, told The Start of 680 CJOB that the question of why the calls have increased so much is simply Said he couldn't answer.
The clinic says that in 2021, despite losing volunteers to the pandemic, he has responded to over 38,000 emergency calls, and from 2020 to this year, calls to the sexual assault crisis program have increased. His 231% increase.
The organization has already trained 75 additional volunteers this year, with more to come in the fall.
"There are certainly a lot of people out there who are in a lot of pain right now," said Lodge.
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"Was it something that existed before the pandemic and was exacerbated by COVID-19, or is it something more? Whether it was triggered or caused by the pandemic, we can't talk about it...but the reality is that we see so many needs and demands in our community."
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