BC Government delivers more funding to help women and children affected by violence in the Kootenays

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Nelson – During this year’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence, the BC Government is taking action by increasing important funding to services that support women and children affected by violence.

Community organizations working to prevent and respond to violence against women and children in Nelson, Creston, Salmo and Kaslo will receive immediate funding of $112,280 to help reduce waitlists and better meet demand for vital services such as counselling, outreach and crisis support.  This is over and above the $851,432 in annual core funding these organizations receive.

“Violence against women hurts everyone and has long-term effects on families and in our communities,” said Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall “For too long organizations like Nelson CARES, North Kootenay Lake Community Service Society, Creston Valley Community Services Society and Salmo Community Services Society have worked tirelessly to support victims of violence without the needed resources.  This funding will significantly enhance supports for women and children affected by violence in our communities.”

This announcement is part of a province wide investment of $5 million.  Victim service and violence-against-women programs throughout British Columbia will share $4 million in one-time grants to better address high demand for programs that help women and children affected by domestic abuse and sexualized violence. Another $800,000 will support inter-agency case assessment teams of police officers, victim service workers, transition house service providers and others who provide victim safety in high-risk domestic violence cases. The remaining $200,000 will be used to enhance education and prevention programs.

“Many worthy organizations have been stretched beyond capacity for years with static budgets despite their growing caseloads and operating costs, and dozens of service providers telling us they’re ready to give up their contracts next year,” said Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth. “The grants we’re providing are a stepping stone toward greater certainty and stability for the thousands of women and children who rely on them in some of the most frightening, stressful and dangerous times in their lives.”

Quick Facts:

* This announcement, during the international 16 days of activism against gender-based violence (Nov. 25-Dec. 10), represents an immediate investment in services to victims of violence throughout British Columbia.

* It is a step toward government’s commitment to increase annual funding to support women who experience domestic violence, sexual assault and other crimes.

* The Province invests more than $70 million annually in services to support victims of crime, including $16.5 million for violence-against-women programs and $32 million for transition house services. The $5 million of one-time grants announced today is over and above this core, annual funding.