Ottawa group for male sex abuse victims loses funding
Published Wednesday, November 16, 2011 6:35PM EST
Ontario's only group for male survivors of sexual abuse is closing after losing provincial funding.
Ottawa-based The Men's Project said it will close in March after finding out its $200,000 in funding will be cut.
Sean Conlin said he was molested as a child and found the courage to talk about it after group therapy at the project.
"Where are they going to go?" he said. "Where can they get help, because there's nothing in the country like this."
The project is currently treating about 80 men, with several more on a waiting list.
It has been open for 14 years, treating about 100 men annually.
The organization said it's started telling its clients they'll have to go elsewhere in the spring, holding a meeting next Wednesday on the subject.
"It's been said we won the war, in terms of getting this cause known throughout the province," said Rick Goodwin, executive director of The Men's Project. "But we lost the battle in terms of our own longevity."
The project played a pivotal role in last decade's Cornwall Inquiry into allegations of a pedophile ring in east Ontario, saying it highlighted the need for more support for male survivors of sexual abuse.
Ontario did announce $2 million towards services for male survivors in the province, but put that money into Catholic Family Services.
Many of the centre's clients were abused by members of the Catholic clergy as children.
"We presented that concern to the ministry very clearly, but the ministry decided where funding would go and that was their decision," Goodwin said.
The Attorney General told CTV Ottawa in an e-mail that no funding decisions have been made for next year, but a letter received by The Men's Project said the province won't be funding the Men in Healing program – the mainstay of the project.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Joanne Schnurr