The Government of Ontario has taken a step to follow through on its commitments from the March 2011 Sexual Violence Action Plan to provide additional support to survivors of sexual violence by expanding the Language Interpreter Services (LIS) program.
On May 24, 2012, the Government announced that it will be “breaking down language barriers” by increasing access to services for survivors of sexual violence who do not speak English and/or French. It is estimated that this service expansion will help “1,000 more women a year who are victims of sexual violence get access to social, health care and legal services in their own languages”. According to the announcement, this “includes sign language interpretation for victims who are Deaf, oral deaf, deafened and hard of hearing and are also victims of domestic or sexual violence”.
The Language Interpreter Services (LIS) program provides interpreters and translators 24 hours a day for multi-lingual requests. For the past 20 years, the program has enabled service providers in Ontario to communicate with their clients who have limited English and/or French language skills, are Deaf, oral deaf, deafened or hard of hearing, and who are victims of domestic violence, sexual violence or human trafficking.
In Ontario, all service providers working with victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, or human trafficking are eligible to access language interpreters on behalf of their clients. The list of eligible agencies and service providers includes social services, healthcare, legal services, sexual assault centers, and the Domestic Violence Court Program. These agencies and service providers can access interpreter services that are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year in over 70 languages in person, by telephone or through videoconferencing.
Across the province, service providers can request these services by contacting one of eight agencies that currently deliver the Language Interpreter Services program. Agencies provide language interpreter services in the following regions of Ontario:
Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic
Location: 489 College Street, Suite 503, Toronto, ON, M6G 1A5
Multilingual Community Interpreter Services
Toll Free: 1-888-236-8311
24-Hour Domestic Violence Emergency Line: 416-422-5984
Note: MCIS operates a 24-hour emergency interpretation service for the Domestic Violence Court Program and the Toronto Police Service to assist victims of Domestic Violence
Translation Department: 416-426-7051
Email General Inquiries: email@example.com
Email Translation Department: firstname.lastname@example.org
Email Intake Requests: email@example.com
Location: 789 Don Mills Rd, Suite 608, North York, ON M3C 1T5
Across Languages Translation and Interpretation Service
Location: 515 Richmond Street, Unit 3, London ON, N6A 5N4
Telephone Niagara Region: 2-1-1
Telephone Main: 905-682-6611
Toll Free: 1-800-263-3695
Location: 235 Martindale Road, Unit 10, St. Catharines, ON L2W 1A5
The Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre
Interpreter Services: 519-745-2593
Location: 102 King Street West, Kitchener, ON N2G 1A6
The Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County
Downtown Location: 245 Janette Avenue, Windsor, ON N9A 4Z2
East End Location: 7651 Tecumseh Road East, Windsor, ON N8T 3H1
Immigrant Women Services Ottawa
Location: 219 Argyle Street, Suite 400, Ottawa, ON K2P 2H4
Thunder Bay Multicultural Association
Toll Free: 1-866-831-1144
Location: 17 North Court Street, Thunder Bay, ON, P7A 4T4
Always remember that you may have been victimized by sexual violence, but by searching for help you have started your healing.