THUNDER BAY – The Thunder Bay Multicultural Association has an added tool in their arsenal to open doors and help break down barriers. “Language services offer another level of comfort and safety for victims of sexual violence. We are breaking down one of the barriers to service for them. Over the past year, we have provided more than 800 hours of interpretation to 145 victims of violence. This expansion allows us to serve a larger group and to outreach to victims about where they can find help and access services in their first language,” states Cathy Woodbeck, the Executive Director of the Thunder Bay Multicultural Association (TBMA).
The TBMA will receive provincial support through Ontario’s Language Interpreter Services (LIS) program to expand their interpreter services so survivors of sexual violence can now get assistance. The agency estimates that they will be able to serve 200 more survivors because of this vital expansion. The expansion includes access to both sexual violence and domestic violence sign language interpreter services for women who are Deaf, oral deaf, deafened and hard of hearing.
The government previously funded these services only for victims of domestic violence.
“Women who have experienced sexual violence can now come forward in Thunder Bay, Kenora, and other cities in the North and get the help they need, without a language barrier. This is another step our government is taking with our community partners to stop violence against women,” commented Minister Michael Gravelle, MPP Thunder Bay-Superior North.