Emerging Issues, In the News

Part 3: Inquest Recommendations — Funding

August 09, 2022

Composite image from CTV News Ottawa (Point2 Homes, Genevieve Way, Facebook)

In June 2022, a coroner’s inquest examined the 2015 murders of three Canadian women – Nathalie Warmerdam, Anastasia Kuzyk and Carol Culleton. From the inquest, 86 jury recommendations were made on how to improve Ontario’s response to intimate partner violence (IPV).

To help you understand the results of this investigation and how we can hold our public institutions accountable to prevent similar tragedies from happening again, Neighbours, Friends and Families launched a blog series that covers the jury’s recommendations.  

Our first blog highlighted the inquest’s call for oversight and accountability, and the second blog focused on enhanced collaboration and communication across support agencies.

This third installment looks at how funding priorities for IPV victims and related support services across the province are determined – and calls for more attention to the needs of remote and rural communities.

The jury recommendations’ three major themes around funding are:

  • Greater Funding for Remote and Rural Areas

    The jury advised that the Ontario government consider the unique challenges facing IPV victims in remote and rural communities when determining what to fund and where.

    People living in rural areas are more spread out compared to metropolitan regions; they experience higher IPV rates, face a lack of public transit options and often have limited internet access. Recognizing the financial challenges of operating in these areas, the inquest jury advocated for designated transportation funds to help people access remote or rural services, and higher per-capita funding for policing, education and service providers in remote areas.

  • Adequate and Stable Funding for IPV Services

    The jury stressed a need for increased and stable government funding for support services, to minimize administrative work like fundraising and writing multiple funding applications and reports. Reducing that workload means service providers would have more time to focus on victim support.

    Consistent and adequate funding is needed to effectively operate counselling services, offer mental health help, provide support for perpetrators, trauma and sexual assault support, and shelter services. This stability would ensure services are staffed by skilled and experienced employees, rather than relying on volunteers with varying levels of training.

  • Special Funds and Assistance for Victims

    The jury proposed a special emergency fund for victims that should be easy to access and would not affect eligibility for other government assistance programs.

    The jury also recommended funding for a range of victim-specific supports, including:
  • enhanced second-stage housing – affordable, safe housing for people who’ve left abusive relationships as they make plans for independent living,
  • transportation assistance,
  • the installation of safe rooms in high-risk cases, and
  • mobile tracking system alarms.

Our next blog will feature the inquest jury recommendations on education and training about intimate partner violence in Canada.

Keep an eye on the NFF blog or follow us on Facebook and Twitter to hear first when we post updates on this series. 

Image credit: CTV News Ottawa