Sexual assault counselling centres to share $10 million in funding

The Kamloops Sexual Assault Counselling Centre Society said the funds will be used to hire additional staff for its domestic violence and sexual assault response team, enabling 24-hour access to its crisis support line and being able to accompany survivors of violence during hospital visits.

The Kamloops Sexual Assault Counselling Centre Society will be able to expand and restore its services to pre-2001 levels thanks to a grant from Ending Violence Association of BC (EVABC).

The local society is one of 23 groups provincewide that will split a $10-million emergency sexual assault services grant.

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While unable to disclose its share of the money, the Kamloops Sexual Assault Counselling Centre Society said the funds will be used to hire additional staff for its domestic violence and sexual assault response team, enabling 24-hour access to its crisis support line and being able to accompany survivors of violence during hospital visits.

The three-year, $10-million grant will help fill gaps in funding created when all funding to provincial sexual assault centres was cut nearly 20 years ago, according to a press release from EVABC.

EVABC executive director Tracy Porteous said the society has been in talks with the provincial government for 18 years regarding the status of sexual assault response and the funding needed to provide services for survivors.

“This funding program will provide a huge benefit to survivors of sexual assault in the 23 communities being funded,” Porteous said in the release. The funds help the 23 organizations deliver their community-based, emergency sexual assault response services that are trauma-informed and culturally appropriate from now until the end of March 2023.

EVABC received the funding to administer the grant program in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, the Ministry of Finance’s gender equality office, the Minister’s Advisory Council on Indigenous Women and the Ministry of Health.

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