“I have to tell rape victims to come back in 11 months”: A counsellor at the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre, on the provincial funding cuts

“The day in march 2018 when the Ontario Liberals announced their gender-based violence strategy, I cried with joy. The plan included $14.8 million in additional funding for Ontario’s rape crisis centres.

“That money was needed. At the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre, where I work, I had been turning away survivors who’d taken that courageous first step to seek support. We had to tell them to wait a year and half before they could get help. The demand is just overwhelming.

“[in March 2018] the Toronto rape crisis centre was to receive an increase of $159,000 per year for three years. Ninety per cent of that would go to hiring two full-time counsellors. For overworked staffers and survivors, it was a miracle.”

“One month after the election, everything changed. We learned the new government would not be honouring its predecessor’s commitment.”

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