Starting in 2023-24, the province will 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.
“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.”
Every week in B.C., there are an estimated 1,000 physical or sexual assaults against women. Indigenous women and girls, people of colour, 2SLGBTQ+ people and people with disabilities are disproportionately targeted.
The decision to cut stable funding to these critical services forced community-based services providers to spend their time reapplying for funding and fundraising to make up the shortfall, making it harder to provide services for survivors. 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. In the coming months, the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General will work to establish a process for allocating the new funding.