Those are great questions.
How would this help? Unfortunately, in our country you can go from kindergarten to a Ph.D. without learning anything about LGBTQ culture, communities, or history, or even about inclusion and how to create respectful spaces. Frankly, this will make our justice system more accessible to the 13% of our population who are dramatically underserved in this cause, and we would carefully acknowledge, based on anecdotal evidence, that many LGBTQ people, within one relationship or another, will face intimate partner violence. We're very concerned about that.
Other than our agency, we house the national network of LGBTQ service providers, so while we would love a ton of money, we actually wouldn't keep it. We would rather train our LGBTQ service provider network and all of the national service providers and enhance those existing agencies, so that services are delivered by queer and trans folks. Similar to how this government and the previous one really empowered indigenous communities to take ownership of their resources and services, we would want to empower LGBTQ organizations across the country.
We're proud to say that the LGBTQ service providers network that is housed at the Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity does create a total blanket across our nation. If only we had the funding to empower those agencies.... We're not talking about a lot of money. I fundamentally believe that a small investment of a million dollars or maybe slightly more would hire enough staff people in those agencies and would train them, and we would move forward on really enhancing the capacity of these agencies. As an organization, we are not advocating to build LGBTQ shelters in every city across the country for partners escaping domestic violence. We just want the ability to enhance existing service providers to create a good point of first contact and then train those service agencies that are already working in intimate partner violence.
Look at what Ms. Dale is doing and what LEAF is doing. We don't need to replicate that. We just need to work with those services to make sure that LGBTQ, intersex, and trans are a part of their language and a part of the work that we're all doing together to make the world a better place. For that, we need to fund them.