This morning, the Honourable Pam Parsons, Minister Responsible for the Office of Women and Gender Equality, announced funding to benefit violence prevention work in the areas of outreach, education, and awareness.

The funding is being provided under the National Action Plan to End Gender-based Violence, a four-year bilateral agreement signed by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador with Women and Gender Equality Canada. This agreement has resulted in $13.6 million in new funding to invest in violence prevention-related initiatives throughout the province. View all the recipients of the funding announcement and the full news release click here.

With this funding, Thrive’s Coalition Against the Sexual Exploitation of Youth (CASEY) program will focus on increasing awareness, skills, and support for youth, families, and service providers throughout the province, specifically targeting the prevention of online sexual exploitation.

Notable statistics supporting the urgency of this initiative include:

  • 4.3 million child exploitation reports processed by from 2014-2020.
  • An 88% increase in sextortion and other online exploitation reports to since the pandemic began.
  • 1 in 10 children being sexually victimized before they turn 18.
  • 39% of luring attempts reported to in the last 2 years involved victims 13 or under.

Additionally, there has been a dramatic increase in requests for supports and services across communities, particularly exacerbated during the pandemic. Grassroots agencies are struggling to respond adequately, and frontline service providers are at high risk for compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma.

We are a collective group of agencies working daily to support women, girls, and gender-diverse folks. We challenge sexism, homophobia and transphobia, racism, and structural inequities. We are passionate advocates striving for a safe and healthy province for everyone.