Justice Minister Suzanne Anton marked the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women with the following statement:
“Violence against women is not acceptable – not in our homes, our communities or anywhere around the world. The impacts of violence have devastating consequences on women’s wellbeing, with rippling effects that can live on in families and communities for years. Global numbers estimate that up to 70% of women will experience violence in their lifetimes. These numbers are astonishing and I think all British Columbians can agree that, in no uncertain terms, the violence must stop.
“Here at home, about 90 people per day seek assistance from a counselling or outreach program for violence against women – programs supported by our government through more than $70 million annually devoted to prevention and intervention services for victims of crime.
“We are committed to addressing violence against all women in B.C. and our Vision for a Violence Free BC strategy provides a long-term plan to prevent, respond to and rebuild from violence. This year, we opened domestic violence units in Surrey and Nanaimo, launched the #SaySomething campaign to raise awareness of domestic violence and ways to help and get help, and dedicated $3.4 million in civil forfeiture grant funding to projects aligned with the Violence Free BC strategy.
“Earlier this month, I also announced that applications are now open for the 2015-16 civil forfeiture grant call. For crime prevention and anti-violence service providers, there are five funding streams dedicated to Violence Free BC priorities. These funds are critical in supporting the community specific, on-the-ground efforts of organizations that share our dedication to eliminating violence against women.
“Violence against women is something we must all address together. Today, let us commit to ending the violence, and to supporting those rebuilding from its devastating effects.
“Help is available – call VictimLinkBC 24 hours a day, seven days a week for toll-free access to confidential, multilingual help and information – 1 800 563-0808.”