Support to Voice Found will Raise Awareness and Strengthen Supports for Survivors
OTTAWA – Ontario is protecting what matters most by investing up to $271,000 in funding for Voice Found, an Ottawa-based organization that supports survivors of sex trafficking. The province is also looking at new approaches to combat trafficking, support survivors and hold offenders accountable.
Today, Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services was at Voice Found, to discuss what more can be done to provide support for survivors so they get the help they need.
“Sex trafficking is a crisis throughout Ontario, in our biggest cities and smallest towns,” said Minister MacLeod. “We are taking action to end these crimes by shining a light on it and engaging with people who know first-hand the devastation it causes to women, young girls and other vulnerable people.”
The government has begun a series of roundtable discussions, chaired by Parliamentary Assistant Belinda Karahalios and Mississauga Centre MPP Natalia Kusendova, on sex trafficking with survivors, Indigenous partners, law enforcement and front-line service providers. The roundtables will help create a more responsive and supportive system for survivors of violence and trafficking, and change attitudes that give rise to violence against women.
“Our government is fighting to end sex trafficking,” added MacLeod. “We know we have a big challenge ahead, and that government cannot do it alone, but I am confident that by raising awareness and working together across ministries, across sectors and across jurisdictions, we can do more to stop these crimes and support survivors.”
- Ontario is a major hub for trafficking: more than two-thirds of police-reported human trafficking violations in Canada occur in the province.
- Police-reported incidents of human trafficking in Ontario increased by 284 per cent in the last five years.
- Nearly 75 per cent of human trafficking victims identified by police are under the age of 25.
- The average age of entry into sex trafficking is 13 years old.
- In total, this government is investing $180 million in violence prevention and sexual assault support in this year’s budget.