The federal government will give B.C. $3 million over four years to donate to crisis hotlines addressing gender-based violence.
The statement was made at a news conference on Friday, which also happened to be International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, by Marci Ien, Canada’s federal minister for women, gender equality, and youth. Grace Lore, the parliamentary secretary for gender equity in British Columbia, accompanied her.
The violence against women increased in British Columbia during COVID-19, she noted. In 2021, 4,524 instances of sexual assault were reported to police in the province, according to Statistics Canada.
The funding will support two crisis hotlines that will serve the entire province and provide both Indigenous and non-Indigenous survivors of gender-based violence with information, resources, and assistance.
According to a poll conducted by the federal government and anti-violence professionals in Canada between May and July 2020, about half of the respondents noted changes in the frequency and intensity of gender-based violence during the COVID-19 epidemic.
The federal government has given $1,400 to women’s shelters, sexual assault centres, and other groups in Canada $240 million in emergency COVID-19 financing since April 2020.