SURREY â€” Premier Christy Clark was in town Friday to unveil a new Violence Free BC strategy to combat violence against women, which includes the addition of a victim services worker to Surreyâ€™s Domestic Violence Unit.
Other commitments include new investments in school-based prevention programs and developing a provincial sexual assault policy.
The long-term plan includes support for local anti-violence support services and an upcoming campaign to raise awareness of the dangers women face.
The provincial government promises to contribute $3 million this year to the whole plan through civil forfeiture funds, and more in future years.
Premier Christy Clark said violence against women is not a womenâ€™s issue, but is â€œan issue for all of us in British Columbia.
â€œThe Violence Free BC strategy is our roadmap to creating a province where each of us does our part, working together, to keep women safe from harm.â€
Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton said stopping the violence â€œstarts with all of us.â€
Domestic violence killed 113 women in B.C. from 2004 to 2014, according to the province, and more than 12,300 police-reported victims of intimate partner violence throughout the province in 2013.
Chief Supt. Bill Fordy welcomes the news for Surrey.
â€œOur officers will work side-by-side with support workers, and together theyâ€™ll co-ordinate the investigation of cases and the support of victims who need to be brought to safety, often immediately,â€ he said.
â€œThis integrated, holistic approach to dealing with issues of domestic violence will allow us to do more comprehensive risk assessment, safety planning and offender managing and monitoring.â€
Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner said the move will allow police to be â€œbetter able to respond to the highest-risk domestic violence cases and provide and integrated approach to supporting victims and holding offenders accountable.
Sonya Boyce, executive director of Surrey Womenâ€™s Centre Society said itâ€™s critical to have proper supports in place to make a difference in the lives of women who are being abused.
â€œRaising awarenessâ€¦ and funding anti-violence and prevention initiatives are concrete steps that government is taking in the right direction," Boyce said.
Last yearâ€™s throne speech promised a plan to help end domestic violence.