Additional Support Sought For Domestic Violence Victims

A local New Democrat MPP is pushing the Liberal government for increased funding to help victims of domestic violence through the court process.
Peggy Sattler challenged Premier Kathleen Wynne during Question Period on Tuesday to take action and commit to properly funding the Family Court Support Worker Program.
“One of the essential programs that helps vulnerable women stop the cycle of violence is the Family Court Support Worker Program, which provides specialized services such as safety planning, preparing for court, and assisting women to file restraining orders,” said Sattler.
The London West MPP said she learned through a Freedom of Information request that the Liberal government has reduced funding for the already underfunded program.
“Women and community advocates have told me repeatedly about how effective the program is in helping women leave abusive relationships, which is why demand for the program has been increasing,” said Sattler. “The government’s own briefing notes speak to the success of the program. Cutting funding just doesn’t make sense, especially when it’s vulnerable women who are paying the price.”
Wynne insisted the government has increased investment in services to support women who are escaping violence but did not specifically address the Family Court Support Worker Program.
Attorney General Yasir Naqvi was quick to reassure that the Violence Against Women Roundtable, which is made up of a multiple ministries, is working to ensure effective programming is in place.
Clare Graham, a spokesperson with the attorney general office’s, refuted Sattler’s statement on Wednesday and said there has in fact been no funding cuts for the Family Court Support Worker program. She said funding has actually increased since the program was announced in 2011.
Graham added that any changes in funding allocation reflects “the actual costs of operating the program and any savings disclosed by agencies.”