B.C. boosts funding for women, children affected by violence

Premier John Horgan said that funding for these kinds of services “has been stagnant,” in the past

Community organizations working to prevent and respond to violence against women and children across B.C. will be receiving a $5 million boost from the government to help reduce waitlists for some of the most vulnerable seeking care.

During an announcement at the Surrey Women’s Centre Friday, Premier John Horgan said that funding for these kinds of services “has been stagnant, if I can be generous.”

Horgan also said British Columbians can expect more to come in the governent’s budget in February.

About $4 million of the funds, which will be available to programs and organizations in the form of one-time grants, will be used to address the high demans for programs that help women and children through counselling, outreach and crisis support.

Meanwhile, $800,000 will support inter-agency case assessment teams of police officers, victim service workers and transition house service providers.

The remaining $200,000 will help fund two B.C.-wide educational and awareness programs: Be More Than A Bystander, an award-winning program that’s delivered to more than 80,000 high school students and youth, and Violence is Preventable – a free, confidential, school-bases violence prevention program for children and youth agred three to 18 years old.

Alison Brewin, interim executive director of the Surrey Women’s Centre, said Surrey Women’s Centre in Whalley receives 5,000 visits every year by women seeking support and help. “Seeking help on their journey from survival to the thriving lives they are entitled to in this province,” she said. “Sadly, we have a two year wait list for our counselling services.

“We’re only reaching a portion of the women and children and men who need our help, who are dealing with gender-based violence,” Brewin added.

“Funding from a government that shares our commitment to gender justice is an important sign that this sector is valued, that women who experience violence deserve safety, respect, dignity.

“It’s been a dry 16 years, I have to say,” Brewin said of funding under the previous Liberal government. “The past 16 years has been a focus on victimization, not the person. It’s been about the symptoms and not the cure. So I thank the B.C. government for showing up and letting us know that the women we serve have been seen and are being heard.”

Horgan said at the presser that the more awareness there is about this issue, “the more ability we have to address the problems, systemic problems in our society.

“Community-based organizations like the Surrey Women’s Centre provide critical outreach and counselling and crisis support for survivors and for too long centres like these have not been given the resources that they need. Funding has been stagnant, if I could be generous,” Horgan said. “Centres like the Surrey Women’s Centre are stretched to the limit.

“It’s an important first step,” Horgan said of the $5 million in funding. “This is just the beginning.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes B.C. Interior

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout the Okanagan

Nelson and COVID-19: everything you need to know

Check this page for every local story related to the outbreak

Burning ban issued for Nelson area

All open burning is prohibited to reduce COVID-19 respiratory risk

It’s time for community gardens

From reader John Northcott

From medical equipment to water treatment, Teck Trail is an essential service

” … Trail operations is one of a few, and in some cases, the only North American supplier.”

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

Two inmates at prison housing Robert Pickton test positive for COVID-19

Correctional Service of Canada did not release any details on the identities of the inmates

COVID-19 case confirmed at restaurant in Cache Creek: Interior Health

Customers who visited the site from March 25 to 27 are asked to self-isolate

BC SPCA launches matching campaign to help vulnerable animals after big donations

Two BC SPCA donors have offered up to $65,000 in matching donations

Anti-tax group calls for MPs, senators to donate scheduled pay raises to charity

Bill C-30, adopted 15 years ago, mandates the salary and allowance increases each calendar year

Two arrested after man lies about COVID-19 illness to stay in Victoria Airbnb for free

Victoria Police found stolen goods inside the occupied unit

Liberals delay release of 75% wage subsidy details, costs: Morneau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

No laws in B.C. to force businesses to offer refunds, even during a pandemic

Black Press Media talks to Consumer Protection BC on how to navigate during COVID-19

Most Read