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

Fiery collision involving truck closes Highway 1 at Three Valley Gap

Drivers should expect major delays and congestion; estimated time of re-opening is 2 p.m.

Westbank First Nation Grand Chief Noll Derriksan passes away

Derriksan was 79 at the time of his passing

Central Okanagan school superintendent addresses technology’s impact on students

Physical and mental well being for students key themes during Kevin Kaardal’s presentation

Lake Country approves 5.88 per cent property tax increase

The average home assessed at $711,000 will have to pay an extra $123 per year

Kelowna to introduce new strategy for community education about supportive housing

The model seeks to enhance community engagement, accessibility and transparency

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Tyler Toffoli scores twice, Canucks crush Bruins 9-3

Stecher, Miller each add three points for Vancouver

Zamboni driver, 42, earns NHL win over Maple Leafs

Emergency goalie called into action for Carolina Hurricanes

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Landlord ordered to pay $11K after harassing B.C. mom to move days after giving birth

Germaine Valdez was pressured to move just a few days after giving birth by C-section to her child

Heart attacks strike B.C. husband and wife just over one year apart

Courtenay couple share personal stories to bring awareness to heart month

‘Nothing surprises us anymore:’ U.S. border officials find brain in package

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment

Prolific offenders from Alberta lead RCMP on chase from Kelowna to Abbotsford

Men first reported in Chilliwack ending with allegedly stolen vehicle in an Abbotsford pond

Adapting to love along the Columbia River

One man starts a GoFundme to help his partner with health costs caused on the trip where they met

Most Read