The federal government is giving nearly $4 million to 21 organizations to tackle the issue of violence against female post-secondary school students, Pickering-Scarborough East MP Corneliu Chisu announced this week.
The announcement was made at the Scarborough Women’s Centre, which is receiving $200,000 over two years for projects involving students at the University of Toronto Scarborough.
“The purpose is to engage young men and women so that they work together as students plus with the community and the faculty and staff to find out how to build a conversation about violence against women and how to take it out of the closet...so that women are able to succeed in their studies and move on to success in their future,” Scarborough Women’s Centre executive director Lynda Kosowan said.
Part of the money will be used to employ students on a part-time basis.
“They can fan out and connect with other students and start this dialogue in a way that I can’t,” Kosowan said.
Three other organizations in the GTA are also receiving funding: Interim Place in Mississauga, Urban Alliance on Race Relations in Toronto and Yellow Brick House in Richmond Hill.
All 21 organizations will carry out projects in college and university campuses.
“Women under age 25 experience the highest rates of sexual assault and criminal harassment among Canadians,” said Chisu, adding the projects “will enhance opportunities for university and college communities to actively prevent and/or reduce violence against women.”
Desmond Pouyat, dean of student affairs at UTSC, said campus sexual assaults are “fairly infrequently reported.”