Delegates at the annual Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Vancouver have backed a Saanich resolution demanding the province improve the way it funds emergency sexual assault services.
The motion was first put forth in June by councillor Zac de Vries to Saanich council for consideration by the UBCM.
“I’ll be following up to ensure that this resolution is acted on by the province,” said de Vries soon after it was endorsed.
Resolution B86 specifically calls on the province to “take action to provide dedicated, predictable and secure funds for emergency sexual assault response through the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, and with the support of the Ministry of Health.”
de Vries says he was inspired to act by the ongoing funding struggles at the Saanich-based Victoria Sexual Assault Centre.
The only one of its kind in the province, the centre provides counselling for women and transgender survivors of sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse, and also has a clinic for crisis support, medical and forensic services, and options for police reporting of recent assaults.
It had struggled since opening in 2016 since it relied on funding from grants and donors.
“Trauma-informed, wrap-around care is survivor-centred, evidence-based, and cost-effective,” wrote Centre spokesperson Grace Lore on social media on Thursday.