B.C. to provide annual funding for community-based sexual assault response services

B.C. to provide annual funding for community-based sexual assault response services

B.C. has announced that it will be allocating $22 million to provide stable funding for community-based sexual assault response services in an effort to support survivors of sexual assault.

Beyond this year, starting in 2023-24, the Province will proceed to provide annual funding of more than $10 million to service providers who offer victim-centred, trauma-informed, co-ordinated, cross-sector support to survivors of sexual assault.

The Province says that the funding announced today will allow consistent provision of sexual assault services for survivors, and will support the delivery of co-ordinated, community-based emergency sexual assault response services in regions throughout the province.

“Sexual assault and other forms of gender-based violence have devastating impacts on survivors, and that’s why government is helping people get the supports they need,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “Nearly 20 years to the day after the previous government chose to eliminate stable annual funding for sexual assault response services, we announced we’re restoring this critical funding so service providers can get back to focusing on providing the care survivors need.”

In the coming months, the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General will work to establish a process for allocating the new funding moving forward.

“Our province should be a safe place, yet more than half of B.C. women have experienced physical or sexual violence since the age of 16,” said Grace Lore, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity. “Having been on the front line supporting survivors, I know how hard it is to provide sexual assault response services that are trauma-informed, survivor-centred and culturally appropriate when you don’t know where your next round of funding is coming from.”

B.C. estimates that there are approximately 1,000 physical or sexual assaults against women each week with Indigenous women and girls, people of colour, 2SLGBTQ+ people and people with disabilities disproportionately targeted.


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