Public Health Agency of Canada supports projects to prevent and address family violence in BC, including at DIVERSEcity

This week, the Government of Canada announced new funding for projects that will support those who have experienced, are experiencing, or are at-risk of experiencing violence, including at DIVERSEcity

According to the government press release, family violence and gender-based violence are serious public health issues that are strongly linked to mental health concerns and can have long-lasting consequences for survivors and for those around them. These issues touch families in all parts of Canada, and include many different forms of physical, sexual and emotional abuse and neglect. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting all survivors of family and gender-based violence and safeguarding the health and safety of those at risk.

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, announced funding for two projects in British Columbia, totalling $1.7 million, to provide support to those affected by family and gender-based violence, with a particular focus on aiding women and racialized communities.

The Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health Society (CEWH), based in Vancouver, will receive $980,392 to launch the first Canadian self-guided workbook and social support program to address challenges related to intimate partner violence (IPV) and substance use (SU).

DIVERSEcity Community Resource Society will receive $794,423 to launch Stories of Strength, a community-led initiative designed to address and prevent family violence specifically in immigrant and refugee communities. The initiative was adapted from the safe planning systems Signs of Safety™. It will provide multigenerational safety-planning resources to families from South Asian, Middle Eastern and African newcomer communities in Surrey. This collaborative effort involves 250 partners who are working to enhance health and safety promotion in these communities.

“Everyone deserves to live safe and free from violence, but that isn’t a reality for many people. The funding announced today in British Columbia will be instrumental in helping those who have experienced or are at risk of family and gender-based violence find the support they need to achieve safety and stability in their lives. This investment is an important step forward, but we know we have more to do. Our government will continue to take action against family and gender-based violence and to build a future where all people are treated with dignity and respect,” said Minister Carolyn Bennett.

Bobbi Terrell, Senior Manager, Counselling and Gender-Based Violence Services, with DIVERSEcity, said: “The Stories of Strength program is creating a community of champions to share their stories of resilience. Through our project we are connecting people with networks and community who understand the impacts of intimate partner violence. Surrey, bringing in 83,000 newcomers this last year we are seeing more need for wraparound services of support, especially gender-based violence services. This funding has allowed us to address a need and bridge a gap in resources for newcomer women and children.”

Read the full Government of Canada press release here.