TRURO – A local centre is set to receive some money from the province to improve services for survivors of sexual violence.
The Central Nova Women’s Resource Centre is one of six organizations to receive funding through the Community Services department’s Action Team on Sexual Violence and Bullying.
The money will allow communities to improve supports for victims, which will also guide the prevention and education sections of the province’s first sexual violence strategy. It will allow the exploration of innovative ways to better meet the needs of sexual violence victims while increasing collaboration among people and organizations.
“Part of the money will help to hire someone to put some good effort into establishing something really good,” said Heather Russell, executive director of the Truro centre. “It will probably be a part-time position, but we will see how things go.”
The centre and other successful applicants will receive $55,000 a year over two years, and will work collaboratively to improve service delivery, responses and co-ordinate services, for example creating sexual response teams, identifying training needs and developing response procedures. The organizations will also work with the sexual violence strategy co-chairs to develop evaluation tools to measure service delivery results.
“The whole idea is to form a sexual response team and an education team,” Russell said. “Within the project, we will be meeting as a group to see what’s working for who and where, and what we might have in common. It will be a collaboration and we’ll also be looking at evaluation tools.”
The projects, and insight from across the province, will help develop the province's first sexual violence strategy.
“Effectively addressing sexual violence requires a long-term commitment by all of us, government, community and citizens,” said Community Services Minister Joanne Bernard in a news release announcing the organizations to receive funding.
“Enhancing local communities’ ability to respond to victims is an initial, and important, step for us to address the broader issue together.”
Along with the centre in Truro, those receiving funding include the Every Women’s Centre in Sydney, the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Society in Halifax, Second Story Women’s Centre in Lunenburg, The Red Door in Kentville and the Tri-County Women’s Centre in Yarmouth.