B.C. announces $5M to combat violence against women, children
B.C.’s provincial government has announced it will provide $5 million to assist community organizations working to prevent and respond to violence against women and children.
The one-time funding comes in the midst of the ongoing #MeToo campaign and during 16 days of international activism against gender-based violence.
During a visit to the Surrey Women’s Centre Friday, Premier John Horgan said the $5 million will help to reduce waitlists and meet demand for counselling, outreach and crisis support.
"The more awareness we have, the more ability we have to address the systemic problems in our society, " he said. "There’s much, much more work to do. "
Victim services and violence-against-women programs will share $4 million of the funding. Another $800,000 will support case assessment teams of police officers, victim service workers and transitional housing service providers. The remaining $200,000 will be used for education and prevention programs.
Alison Brewin, interim executive director of the Surrey Women's Centre said the #MeToo campaign has opened the world to the scope of gender-based violence and that the women’s centre receives 5,000 visits per year. Even so, she said the they are only able to reach a portion of those who need help and that there is a two-year waitlist for counselling services.
"This funding means we can reach even more women who need us. We can help women not just survive sexual and domestic violence, but thrive," Brewin said in a press release.
Horgan also said that he anticipates more funding to combat gender-based violence will be included in the province’s February budget.