Tracy Porteous, co-executive director of Ending Violence Association of B.C. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

Tracy Porteous, co-executive director of Ending Violence Association of B.C. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

B.C. expands grant program for community sexual assault response

Indigenous, immigrant women receive specialized outreach

The B.C. government has provided a second $10 million to expand access to its emergency sexual assault services program, which was oversubscribed with last year and likely will be again.

The first $10 million in 2020 covered multi-year funding for 23 organizations, administered by the Ending Violence Society of B.C. Half was allocated to Indigenous-led organizations.

With the province estimating that half of B.C. women having experienced physical or sexual violence since age 16, the second round isn’t expected to cover all of the applications. It will expand grants to “additional programs from among a pool of already adjudicated, strong applications that were not funded under the grant program when it first launched,” the public safety ministry said May 28.

The first round supported Indigenous organizations in Burns Lake, Telegraph Creek, Williams Lake, Bella Coola, Burns Lake, Westbank, Chilliwack and Surrey among others. Other services funded last year are in Port Alberni, Kelowna, Terrace, Smithers, Nelson, Salmon Arm, Victoria, Surrey and Vancouver.

Tracy Porteous, co-executive director of Ending Violence Association of B.C., said sexual assault undermines survivors’ ability to feel safe, have relationships and earn an income, as well as seek help.

“If it is truly our collective intention to encourage more survivors to come forward, in order that more survivors have access to psychological assistance and care, so that the life-altering traumatic effects can be mitigated, then we need to make sure that there are services in communities on the ground across B.C.,” Porteous said.

RELATED: Appeal court adds to B.C. man’s domestic violence sentence

RELATED: Domestic violence increases in Canada after earlier decline

Surrey Women’s Centre executive director Shahnaz Rahman said her service has seen rapid growth of immigrant and Indigenous groups.

“During this double pandemic, the grant funding has allowed us to maximize our operations on the streets of Surrey to seven nights a week and offer critical trauma-informed sexual assault response to 3,500 more women in Surrey this year,” Rahman said.

The grant program is in addition to a larger effort to provide counselling, outreach and support for women and children who experience domestic violence, sexual assault and other crimes. Overall, the province spends $42 million annually to support more than 400 victim service and violence against women programs in B.C.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureBC politics

Just Posted

Harrison Hot Springs country singer Todd Richard poses for a photo with Mission firefighters. (Photo/Sarah Plawutski)
VIDEO: Harrison country artist Todd Richard plans for a busy, rockin’ summer

Richard and his band look to live shows as restrictions start to lift

The theme for this year’s Fraser Valley Regional Library Summer Reading Club is “Crack the Case” and Katie Burns, community librarian at the Chilliwack Library, is encouraging people of all ages to sign up. She is seen here at the Chilliwack Library on Friday, June 18, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Crack the case, read, win prizes with FVRL Summer Reading Club

‘Immerse yourself in other worlds and have a bit of fun while you do it,’ says Chilliwack librarian

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Holger Schwichtenberg and his son Philip talk in the barn of the 150-acre Schwichtenberg farm. This farm is one of many throughout B.C. that support more than 12,500 jobs across the province in the dairy industry. (Contributed Photo/B.C. Dairy Association)
Agassiz dairy farm a model of care for environment, animals, and family

Farm is part of a dairy sector centred in the Fraser Valley, supporting 12,500 jobs province-wide

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

(Black Press Media files)
Burnaby RCMP look for witnesses in hit-and-run that left motorcyclist dead

Investigators believe that the suspect vehicle rear-ended the motorcycle before fleeing the scene

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A police pursuit involving Abbotsford Police ended in Langley Saturday night, June 20. (Black Press Media file)
Abbotsford Police pursuit ends in Langley with guns drawn

One person arrested, witnesses say an officer may have been hurt in collision with suspect vehicle

Most Read