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B.C. provides $10 million for survivors of sexual assault

Last Updated May 26, 2020 at 1:25 pm PST

FILE: Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth discussed essential services on Thursday, March 26, 2020. (Courtesy B.C. Government)

More help on the way for survivors of sexual assault through a three-year, $10-million grant program

Sexual assault disproportionately impacts women, girls and LGBTQ2S+ people: province

Funding will allow organizations to offer emergency services to survivors, such as providing rides to hospitals

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — The B.C. government announced a three-year, $10-million grant Tuesday to help survivors of sexual assault.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says the grant program will help fund frontline organizations across B.C., including those working in Indigenous communities to deliver co-ordinated emergency sexual assault response services.

“There’s no question that we are in challenging times right now, and unfortunately gender-based violence, including sexual assault, is known to increase during these times,” Farnworth said.

“Violence is never acceptable, and has absolutely no place in our society.”

Sexual assault disproportionately impacts women, girls and LGBTQ2S+ people, while Indigenous women and girls are especially at risk of being targeted, according to the province.

Tracy Porteous, executive director of B.C. Ending Violence Association, said the funding will allow organizations to offer emergency services to survivors that range from providing rides to hospitals to offering private counselling sessions.

EVA BC, a longstanding anti-violence organization, will administer this grant program. EVA also provides information, training and support to community-based victim service programs, Stopping the Violence counselling programs and outreach and multicultural outreach programs throughout the province.

“For the past 18 years, EVA BC has been in dialogue with the province about the status of sexual assault response in B.C. and the need for specific services for survivors,” Porteous said.

“Sexual assault is considered the most under-reported, violent crime in Canada, and while other violent crime is on the decline, sexual assault is on the rise. Early intervention, as well as emotional and practical support for survivors, have proven to be lifesaving. This move today by our government will provide survivors with the emergency care they need to begin to heal, and we look most forward to working with community anti-violence services, Indigenous communities and the province to further the network of support for survivors in B.C.”