By Haley Ryan - Metro Halifax
TRURO - Thirteen organizations across the province, including one in Truro, will receive funding to improve their sexual assault services by working together, in a move one community director calls ânecessary.â
On Monday, Marilyn More, the minister responsible for the status of women, said $200,000 will be distributed to help groups work on projects and pool resources.
âIt is necessary because the resources are there, and weâre missing that step to bring our people to the (them),â said Paula Marshall, executive director of the Miâkmaq Legal Support Network.
There are higher rates of sexual assault involving Aboriginal women, Marshall said, but many arenât getting support because they didnât report the abuse or are wary of going to an unfamiliar place.
âThe first step in getting them through the door is having a welcoming community to accept them, and then we can start working on the support services,â she said about partnering with the Miâkmaq Native Friendship Centre.
More said organizations could also share experts, like social media consultants, instead of each hiring their own.
The announcement is part of the $1.1 million promised by the province to address sexual assault, the largest investment in this area Nova Scotia has ever made, More said.
But More said she feels âterribleâ the funding only came after the public outcry around the death of Rehtaeh Parsons, a 17-year-old Cole Harbour teen who took her own life two years after she was allegedly gang raped and then harassed by classmates when a photo of the attack was shared on social media.
âIâm not going to defend status quo or what has or has not happened, but this is our opportunity to change things,â More said. âThis time we have to be serious about these issues and make a difference.â
Groups that will receive funding:
LEA Place Womenâs Resource Centre, Sheet Harbour: $5,000â¨
Avalon Sexual Assault Centre, Halifax: $22,000â¨
Every Womanâs Centre Association, Sydney: $14,000â¨
Pictou County Womenâs Centre, New Glasgow: $4,650â¨
Tri County Womenâs Centre, Yarmouth: $18,000â¨
YWCA Halifax, Spryfield: $4,000â¨
Central Nova Womenâs Resource Centre, Truro: $7,500â¨
FSENS and Alternatives Association, Antigonish: $10,000â¨
Antigonish Womenâs Centre and Sexual Assault Services Association: $4,500â¨
New Start Society, Dartmouth: $11,240â¨
Miâkmaw Legal Support Network: Eskasoni, $14,750â¨
Survivors of Abuse Recovering Society, Kentville: $8,500â¨
Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia, Halifax: $38,000