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North Bay sexual violence support centre struggling to keep doors open

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A sexual violence support centre called Amelia Rising in North Bay is struggling to keep the doors open and a petition to save it has been launched.

"We have about 500 people who have signed the petition and there’s multiple people across Ontario who are on board because this affects everyone," said Amelia Rising executive director Erica Lougheed.

Campaign on to keep the doors of Amelia Rising open in North Bay for sexual violence survivors. (Supplied)

"Really, the 'Save Our Centre' is a look at the next three years and how it doesn’t look good at all and things need to change immediately."

Lougheed told CTV News the organization is running on the same amount of funding it has been receiving for the past 30 years.

"We are operating on mid-1990s funding, it does not make any sense," she said.

"Services continue to reduce, year over, year over, over year. Staff reduces, what we can provide to the community reduces. Our geographical area and who we can reach and how we reach them just reduces year after year."

Most sexual violence victims, 95 per cent, do not go to police for various reasons, but North Bay Police Chief Scott Tod said his service and Amelia Rising do work closely together a lot.

"I’m very concerned of the fact that if Amelia Rising ceases to exist in our community, who will help the victims of sexual violence who don’t wish to report to police," said Tod.

"The counselling and education that they do and supporting victims, to me, is unparalleled by any other organization in our community."

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