B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth (Black Press)

Province’s $6.5M will help women escape violence, Public Safety Minister announces

Mike Farnworth made the funding announcement in Surrey Friday morning

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth has just announced nearly $6.5 million in grants to help women escaping violence and other crime prevention initiatives.

Farnworth made the announcement in Surrey Friday morning at DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society.

“Sharing proceeds of crime back with communities, to prevent crime and victimization and help victims to become survivors, is one more way we’re enhancing the services that people count on,” said Farnworth in a release. “Many of this year’s grant recipients are working with some of our most vulnerable citizens, helping to rebuild and heal after years and, in some cases, lifetimes of violence.”

In all, more than 170 programs — led by community organizations, school districts, police agencies and others — are set to receive a one-time grant, which will come from civil and criminal forfeiture funding.

According to a release, DIVERSEcity will receive nearly $30,000 to “enhance domestic violence supports provided to women through transition houses and second-stage recovery houses in Surrey.”

It will also receive another grant of $75,000 to further its Women’s Crime Reduction Program that targets “the intersection of crime reduction and mental health for women from multicultural, Indigenous and non-Indigenous backgrounds, who have been in conflict with the law.”

DIVERSEcity CEO Neelam Sahota said the grants will advance the organization’s efforts to “empower women who have experienced domestic violence to seek supports they need to maximize their safety and live without violence.

“The grants will also facilitate change and growth for women who experience conflict with the law, to help create better outcomes for children and families,” Sahota added.

Other grants across B.C. will help Indigenous families healing from generational trauma and help youth resist gang involvement.

Programs that address violence against women, including domestic violence, sexual violence, human trafficking and sexual exploitation, are receiving more than $1.7 million in all, and more than $1.4 million will go to address Indigenous healing and rebuilding.

A release notes the remaining grants will help fund community initiatives that “further crime reduction and community safety, child and youth advocacy centres, restorative justice, and police training and special equipment.”

Mitzi Dean, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity, said “violence is a reality” in the lives many women and children in B.C.

“But it doesn’t have to be that way,” said Dean. “Our government is proud to partner with community groups and front-line workers to address violence, support survivors and bring positive change to our communities.”

The provincial funding announcement coincides with Prevention of Violence Against Women Week in B.C.

Click here for a full list of 2017-18 grant recipients.



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

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