VICTORIA — The British Columbia government has announced a three-year, $10 million grant program to provide swift access to compassionate and comprehensive care for survivors of sexual assault.
Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says the COVID-19 pandemic has created challenging times and gender-based violence, including sexual assault, is known to increase during periods of crisis.
He says the grant program will provide funds to front-line organizations across the province, including those working in Indigenous communities.
Ending Violence Association of B.C. will administer the program to help organizations deliver emergency sexual assault response services that are knowledgeable about such traumas and culturally appropriate.
The association's executive director Tracy Porteous says the grants are historic and will expand services to help survivors of sexual abuse.
She says the funding will allow organizations to offer emergency services to survivors that range from providing rides to hospitals to offering private counselling sessions.
"This is a historic day for B.C., a day where we collectively take another bold step towards breaking the silence on sexual violence," Porteous said Tuesday at a news conference. "This is the day where we introduce and expand life lines and emergency networks to a crime that strikes at the heart of the very dignity and humanity of too many individuals."
This report was first published by The Canadian Press May 26, 2020.
The Canadian Press