Much has been said lately in our community about the domestic violence outreach program. I understand that losing this service is concerning to those who rely on it and I want to assure you that we are working on a plan for the continuation of these services in Sussex. It will involve identifying a new sponsoring organization that has the expertise and infrastructure in place to oversee and deliver this program.
The community has not lost funding for this important program geared at helping women when they desperately need it.
Making the decision to discontinue funding to the Sussex Committee for the Prevention of Family Violence (SCPFV) was difficult. The action was not taken lightly, but it was necessary to ensure clients had access to a strong and safe service that met a high standard.
It is understandable for people to have questions when a closure of this nature occurs, and I would like to be able to answer them all directly. But, given the private nature of the arrangement between the Women’s Equality Branch of the Executive Council Office and the SCPFV, I am limited with regards to what can be shared about the decision. What I can say is that it was made because the organization was not meeting the terms of its agreement with the province, which we had been working with the previous board for over a year to resolve.
As women’s minister and local MLA this is the last thing I wanted to see happen but it is so important that the programs we fund are accountable to the people of the province but also effective in serving the people they are meant for.
If anyone is a victim of domestic or intimate partner violence, they are encouraged to call the Sussex Vale Transition House to speak with a crisis intervenor 24/7 at (506) 432-6999 or send a text to (506) 435-1689. Or as always, in the event of an emergency call 911.