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

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

Barriers to rental housing brought on by no-pet rules add stress to renters, says councillor. (Pixabay)
Saanich councillor wants to remove barriers to housing for pet owners

Motion calling for province to amend lease stipulations against pet ownership defeated in 5-4 vote

(Victoria Cool Aid Society/Facebook)
Victoria food drive aims to feed those also struggling with housing

Quadra Village furniture store hosting drive-thru event Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in Saanich parkland

The birds don’t often touch down in the south of the Island

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Most Read