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.

Just Posted

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

You can make a difference in a child’s life

A dozen Mission boys and girls are on the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Fraser Valley waitlist

Hatzic man charged with assaulting Chilliwack RCMP officers

Jason Roberto Vatcher was out on bail facing firearms charges

Abbotsford pedestrian/cycling bridge to open next week

Free hot dogs promised for grand opening on Jan. 23

BREAKING: Accused Abbotsford school killer now fit for trial, defence lawyer says

Medication has quieted voices, Gabriel Klein told BC Review Board this morning

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

B.C. chief says they didn’t give up rights for gas pipeline to be built

Hereditary chief: no elected band council or Crown authority has jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en land

Thieves steal thousands from 140 Coast Capital Savings members

Online fraud tactics included phising and ‘brute force’ in November and December

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

UPDATE: B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

Dog shot in foot with BB gun during cellphone sale at SkyTrain station

William Ayers, 28, is facing a number of charges after incident in Burnaby

Man, two children sent to hospital after Vancouver carbon monoxide leak

Nine people were evacuated from the home in south Vancouver

Most Read