McGuinty government increases support for newcomers

Ontario will help more women in abusive relationships or who are at risk of abuse through an expanded public education campaign, targeting supports to newcomers.

The Neighbours, Friends and Families campaign will raise awareness about the abuse of women among new Canadians by providing culturally and linguistically sensitive training. The campaign, which is delivered in over 200 communities across Ontario, helps people recognize the signs of violence against women, and know what actions to take in response.

The government is investing more than $668,000 to expand the Neighbours, Friends and Families campaign into immigrant and refugee communities across the province.

“The Neighbours, Friends and Families campaign is an important part of our government’s Domestic Violence Action Plan to prevent violence against women,” said Laurel Broten, Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues. “All women have the right to feel and be safe in their homes, communities and workplaces.”

Six Toronto organizations will receive support to better reach immigrant and refugee populations: Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants, KCWA Family and Social Services, Rexdale Women’s Centre, COSTI Immigrant Services, Centre for Information and Community Services of Ontario, and the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic.

“This campaign will help to break down language barriers so we can effectively reach our immigrant and refugee communities to prevent domestic violence,” said Fatima Filippi, Executive Director of the Rexdale Women’s Centre.

“The Neighbours, Friends and Families campaign empowers people in our community to take action against domestic violence,” said Shafiq Qaadri, MPP for Etobicoke North. “We need to work together to stop woman abuse.”

Neighbours, Friends and Families is part of Ontario’s Domestic Violence Action Plan, which focuses on prevention and better community supports for abused women and their children.

Released in March 2011, Ontario’s Sexual Violence Action Plan builds on the 2004 Domestic Violence Action Plan. It puts in place supports for education, prevention, training and awareness programs, and was created based on input from survivors, service providers and experts.

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