Survivors of gender-based violence benefitting from crisis-line expansions

Two agencies providing gender-based violence support in B.C. have received more funding to expand their crisis lines.

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A red corded phone. (Canva)
A red corded phone. (Canva)

VICTORIA, B.C. — Two agencies providing gender-based violence support in B.C. have received more funding to expand their crisis lines.

Salal Sexual Violence Support Centre (Salal) and the Indian Residential School Survivors Society (IRSSS) will receive $2.75 million over four years as part of Women and Gender Equality Canada’s National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence.

Salal and IRSSS provide 24-hour provincewide, comprehensive, specialized gender-based violence support, including risk assessment, immediate safety planning and addressing the unique needs of Indigenous victims.

“People in danger need to know they have options,” said Kelli Paddon, B.C.’s Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity. 

“As we continue to develop a gender-based violence action plan for B.C., the Indian Residential School Survivors Society and Salal will help strengthen supports available to ensure people are cared for, provided trauma-informed and culturally appropriate support, and can begin the path toward healing when the time is right for them.”

According to the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, organizations operating crisis lines in the province saw an increase in call volume during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The federal funding is intended to support these organizations to enhance and expand their crisis-line services.

“People who experience gender-based violence need to be able to access supports and the care they need when and where they need it,” said Mike Farnworth, B.C.’s Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. 

“Our government has created stable, ongoing funding for sexual assault services programs and substantially increased funding to other victim-service programs. We know there is more to do, and enhancing crisis lines will make a critical difference for many women, girls, transgender and non-binary people across B.C.”

Salal offers 24-hour crisis assistance, support to survivors of gender-based violence and workshops to increase awareness about sexual violence in communities across the province.

The IRSSS supports Indian residential school survivors and students and intergenerational abuse survivors. The society also offers 24-hour crisis support for families affected by trauma related to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, as well as trauma-informed cultural support to survivors of gender-based violence.

For more information on Salal, visit their website. For crisis support, call the national toll-free line at 1-877-392-7583.

For more information about IRSSS, visit their website. For crisis support, call 1-800-721-0066.

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