New Program From Quebec Government Will Provide Free Legal Aid To Sexual Assault Survivors

The province's support network will see a huge boost thanks to $2.6 million in funding.
Staff Writer
New Program From Quebec Government Will Provide Free Legal Aid To Sexual Assault Survivors
  • On December 9, 2019, the Quebec government announced that it will investing money into a program that provides free legal aid for sexual assault victims, starting in 2020.
  • This project will be hosted by the Juripop Clinic, which is a non-profit organization.
  • Get all the details about the government's new program below!

The Quebec government has set aside $2.6 million to provide free legal aid for sexual assault victims. Victims can sign up to get free legal advice at the Juripop Clinic starting in 2020. This new program part of a $50 million investment over five years that aims to help people in vulnerable situations.

Justice Minister Sonia LeBel announced the pilot project at a press conference on Monday, December 9. The Juripop Clinic will host the service and will be supported by a diverse representative committee from the regions where these services will be offered. Juripop is a Quebec organization that is focused on improving access to the justice system and promoting the defence of social rights. 

"The Juripop Legal Clinic has distinguished itself by the expertise it has developed in the support of victims of sexual violence through various initiatives that it has carried out head-on in recent years. It is a source of pride for our government to support this government and provide victims with the support they need," said LeBel. 

The pilot project will begin on January 1, 2020, and will continue until March 31, 2021. Programs will be deployed across Juripop's network across the province. Victims will have access to a wide range of services including legal aid and help with formal complaint processes.

"Access to justice remains a challenge for people who have experienced sexual violence: there are many remedies and the system is complex. Our services will enable victims to assert their rights, understand the justice system and regain power over their lives," said Sophie Gagnon, Executive Director of Juripop. 

Statistics Canada reports that post-#MeToo Quebec saw a 61% increase in police-reported sexual assaults which was the largest increase in the country. In Montreal, police-reported incidents spiked 67% in 2016 and 2017. A year earlier, only 1 in 20 sexual assaults were reported to the police. 

Translation: Juripop was founded in Saint-Constant, thanks to the support of its citizens and local organizations. Ten years later, we set up shop in Montreal, close to public transit and our partners. Come and visit us!

In terms of access to resources, the province still has a long way to go. Organizations and resources such as the CVASM and the Groupe Amorce are essential for victims of sexual violence and this $2.6 million in funding will give a huge boost to access.

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Juripop is a non-profit organization that helps vulnerable populations get access to a network of legal support. Juripop clients can become members for a yearly fee of $20.

They typically charge an administrative fee of $50 along with a variable legal fee depending on your income. For victims of sexual violence, these fees are waived. 

Translation: @juripop has distinguished itself by the expertise it has developed in the assistance of victims of sexual violence. With this funding, it will be able to deploy its pilot project to offer free legal advice and support.

If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual violence, there are resources available. Please consult the INSPQ website to find out more about what resources are available to you. You're not alone.  

To find out more about Juripop's legal services, please visit its official website

Teddy Elliot
Staff Writer
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