Aboriginal families affected by domestic violence in B.C. are expected to benefit from a new boost in community-based programs and services.
The Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation said in an announcement today that 24 projects were selected to receive a total of $1.5 million to support culture-based domestic violence healing and prevention programs.
This is part of the province’s three-year Provincial Domestic Violence Plan, which is now in its second year.
“Many of these programs incorporate Aboriginal culture and traditional practices, which will help ensure the content resonates with the participants and has a meaningful impact in the lives of families and communities throughout B.C.,” said John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation and MLA for Nechako Lake.
The Provincial Domestic Violence Plan is a $5.5 million commitment from the government to make B.C. a safer place for women, children and anyone who has been affected by domestic violence. Of this, $2 million was allocated to develop and deliver programs specifically for Aboriginal, women, men and children – including victims and perpetrators. The province announced in Sept. 2015 that $500,000 was going towards increasing access to transition house and safe-home services for Aboriginal women and children.
In 2013, there were 12,359 reports of intimate partner violence throughout B.C. However, it is believed that only one in four women report their abuse to police.
Additionally, aboriginal women are three-times more likely to experience violence at the hands of their partners than non-Aboriginal women.
Each of the 24 programs selected will receive between $14,000 and $70,000 for support of new and existing programs ranging from individual counselling services to family and community-based discussions with a cultural focus.
The province said the successful applicants were chosen in Dec. 2015 by a partnership table made up of representatives from the Minister’s Advisory Council on Aboriginal Women, the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, the Provincial Office of Domestic Violence and the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation and the Ministry of Justice.
The programs receiving funds are in Lillooet, Chilliwack, Cranbrook, Kelowna, Vanderhoof, Kamloops, D’arcy, Vancouver and Victoria.
© 2016 Shaw Media