More funding to support sexual assault survivors |BC Gov News
The Ending Violence Association of BC (EVA BC) is receiving an additional $10 million to assist more community-based sexual assault response service programs throughout the Province.
“Sexual assault and other forms of gender-based violence have devastating impacts on survivors, and that’s why government is committed to prioritizing services and supports for those impacted,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “The success of the first round of this grant program was exceptional, and I’m happy we’re able to provide further support for EVA BC to administer more grants for additional programs as there is a demonstrated high-level need for these services and capacity across B.C. communities to deliver them.”
In March 2020, government provided EVA BC with $10 million to establish and administer a multi-year Emergency Sexual Assault Services grant program to support the delivery of co-ordinated, community-based emergency sexual assault response services in regions throughout B.C. This meant 23 organizations throughout the province received funding to support the delivery of trauma-informed and culturally appropriate response services for survivors of sexual assault.
In recognition of the substantial need for locally relevant and culturally safe supports for survivors in Indigenous communities in B.C., approximately half of the grant funding was allocated to an Indigenous services stream led by Indigenous leaders. The other half was allocated to a general services stream.
“Our province should be a safe place for all of us, and yet over half the women in B.C. have experienced physical or sexual violence since the age of 16. That’s more than one million women in our province,” said Grace Lore, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity. “Sexual assault response services that are trauma informed, survivor centred and culturally appropriate can make a huge difference for people when they need it most.”
This additional $10 million will double the support and allow EVA BC to provide funding to additional programs from among a pool of already adjudicated, strong applications that were not funded under the grant program when it first launched.
Tracy Porteous, co-executive director, Ending Violence Association of BC –
“Sexual assault very often undermines survivors’ ability to feel safe in the world, be intimate, have relationships, find enjoyment in life, earn an income – all basic human rights most people take for granted. If it is truly our collective intention to encourage more survivors to come forward, in order that more survivors have access to psychological assistance and care, so that the life altering traumatic effects can be mitigated, then we need to make sure that there are services in communities on the ground across B.C. This funding represents and signifies an informed and compassionate government that is providing concrete support for thousands of survivors through specialized services that skilfully respond to and foster healing.”
Ninu Kang, co-executive director, Ending Violence Association of BC –
“There is growing public awareness as a result of the #Metoo movement, the report from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and other such calls to action that have brought us to this momentous place, where the Province is putting money and resources into the hands of service providers that are ready to support survivors. We applaud this government’s continued commitment to the provision of support for survivors of sexual violence across B.C. We applaud, too, those who have stepped forward to offer services in communities, large and small, Indigenous and non-Indigenous. It is this collective effort, everyone working together, that will make the most difference in the lives of survivors.”
Shahnaz Rahman, executive director, Surrey Women’s Centre –
“The rapid growth of the Indigenous, visible minority and immigrant groups in Surrey has substantially increased the need for culturally relevant sexual assault services to adequately support residents. During this double pandemic, the grant funding has allowed us to maximize our operations on the streets of Surrey to seven nights a week and offer critical trauma-informed sexual assault response to 3,500 more women in Surrey this year. The funds have also expanded our capacity to collaborate with the Special Victims Unit in Surrey, working on sex crimes involving multiple serial perpetrators. Thank you, Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General and EVA BC for making this happen.”
Violet Fuller, executive director, Yeqox Nilin Justice Society –
“The Emergency Sexual Violence funding Yeqox Nilin received has allowed us to develop a program to create safer communities, tailored to our culture and ways of healing. This is a very positive step toward identifying one of the many unspoken traumas that we are now giving a voice to for healing to begin.”
- The Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, the Ministry of Finance – Gender Equity Office, the Minister’s Advisory Council on Indigenous Women and the Ministry of Health collaborated to launch the grant program.
- Government funds a range of services, such as counselling, outreach and crisis support for women and children who experience domestic violence, sexual assault and other crimes.
- Taking action to meet the ongoing demands for these services, government increased the budget by $5 million starting in 2018-19 with an additional increase of $3 million in 2020-21, for a total increase of $8 million annually.
- Government now provides a total of over $42 million annually to support over 400 victim service and violence against women programs throughout the province.
For more information on the grant program, visit:
For a list of organizations that received funding in December 2020 and their projects, visit:
To learn more about EVA BC, visit: https://endingviolence.org/