Poverty, Sexual Violence and Ontario Income Supports

Sexual violence can impact anyone. But Canadian and global statistics tell us that the prevalence of sexual and relationship is gendered – that is, it is experienced at higher rates by women, girls and trans persons.

Women and children in Ontario also have higher poverty rates than the general Ontario population[1]. While both women and men can experience workplace sexual harassment, for example, “women tend to be more vulnerable to it because they often hold lower-paying, lower-authority and lower-status jobs compared to men”[2], and can therefore become more easily trapped in sexually coercive or harassing situations, due to dependence on a job for financial stability. The same is true for folks from marginalized groups, including trans persons, who experience workplace violence and poverty at significant rates.

Given the above, OCRCC is concerned that recent changes to Ontario’s income support programs will have a negative effect on the lives of those impacted by violence in our local communities. These recent changes include:

  • Cancellation of the Basic Income Pilot Project. This program supports members of Ontario’s working poor; as well as some people in receipt of Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program
  • Reducing planned increases to Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program from 3% to only 1.5%

Read more about the changes to Ontario income support programs here.

Read about how the Basic Income Pilot Project helped Ontarians — and what it’s cancellation could mean.

Learn more about how to take part in action to protect income supports in Ontario here.

[1] Income Security Advocacy Centre/Centre d’action pour la sécurité du revenu. Backgrounder : Fast Facts: Poverty & Social Assistance. July 2018. Accessblie via link here: http://incomesecurity.org/policy-advocacy/future-of-ow-odsp-changes-uncertain-take-action/

[2] Ontario Human Rights Commission. Preventing sexual and gender-based harassment. Online: http://www.ohrc.on.ca/sites/default/files/OHRC%20Fact%20sheet%20on%20sexual%20harassment%20in%20employment.pdf

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