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 in Whalley, said the centre 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.

“This is a modest step forward,” he said.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Dispatch Delta firefighters to more medical calls: Jackson

Change in provincial protocol last year resulted in Delta Fire being sent to 836 fewer incidents

OUR VIEW: Trudeau’s lost opportunity in Surrey – again

Cabinet has five MPs from the West while Ontario gets 17, Quebec gets 11, and Atlantic provinces, four

Surrey Schools receiving $21K for mental health programs

Each district in B.C. is receiving a portion of the $2-million grant from the province

VIDEO: ‘Climate emergency’ is Oxford’s 2019 Word of the Year

Other words on the shortlist included ‘extinction,’ ‘climate denial’ and ‘eco-anxiety’

65-million-year-old triceratops makes its debut in Victoria

Dino Lab Inc. is excavating the fossilized remains of a 65-million-year-old dinosaur

B.C. widow suing health authority after ‘untreatable’ superbug killed her husband

New Public Agency Health report puts Canadian death toll at 5,400 in 2018

Changes to B.C. building code address secondary suites, energy efficiency

Housing Minister Selina Robinson says the changes will help create more affordable housing

Trudeau appears open to safer-opioid proposal in Vancouver: mayor

The city has applied for $6 million from Health Canada to allow for the safe distribution of diamorphine

Security guard at Kamloops music festival gets three years for sexually assaulting concertgoer

Shawn Christopher Gray walked the woman home after she became seperated from her friends, court heard

Algae bloom killing farmed fish on Vancouver Island’s West Coast

DFO says four Cermaq Canada salmon farms affected, fish not infectious

Most Read