Enhancing Police Response to Sexual Violence

Photo saying It's never okay: An action plan to stop sexual violence and harassment
Photo: It's Never Okay - Ontario Government initiative

Province Funding Projects Focused on Innovation and Supporting Survivors

Ontario is supporting people who have experienced sexual assault through a program that builds partnerships between community and justice partners, front-line victim service providers and police services across the province.

Fifteen two-year pilot projects have been selected that will provide a more compassionate, sensitive response when survivors of sexual violence come forward and report their experiences.

The projects will also enhance police investigative practices, with a goal of building stronger cases and improving justice system outcomes.

This initiative is part of It’s Never Okay, Ontario’s ground-breaking action plan to end sexual violence and harassment, and also supports Walking Together: Ontario’s Long-Term Strategy to End Violence Against Indigenous Women.

Building a safer, more inclusive and more equitable province is part of Ontario’s plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario has allocated $1.795 million over two years to support 15 police pilot projects, with report-back requirements at specific milestones.
  • The next call for applications is expected to be issued to police services in spring 2018.
  • It is estimated that one in three Canadian women experiences sexual assault.
  • Ontario has committed $41 million over three years to support implementation of the provincial Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“Promoting a compassionate and effective police response is one of many measures our government is taking to help more survivors of sexual violence feel comfortable coming forward. This funding will help ensure a survivor-centred and effective investigative approach as these cases are brought forward and work their way through the justice system.”

Marie-France Lalonde – Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services

“It is so important that survivors receive the compassionate and appropriate response they deserve from professionals across all sectors.‎ By encouraging police to try new practices and approaches, we will help make the legal system more responsive to survivors. ‎This is a key part of It’s Never Okay, our plan to put an end sexual violence and harassment in Ontario.”

Indira Naidoo-Harris – Minister of Women’s Issues

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