An Aboriginal organization in Chilliwack is receiving provincial government funding to enhance its culture-based domestic violence program for Aboriginal families and communities.
The Province is providing approximately $25,000 to the Xolhemet Society to enhance existing anti-domestic violence services. The society helps women deal with domestic violence through its Women’s Empowerment Group.
Aboriginal women and children are more likely than non-Aboriginal British Columbians to be directly affected by domestic violence. In fact, Aboriginal women are nearly three times more likely to be victims of intimate partner violence than non-Aboriginal women.
Successful applicants were chosen by a partnership table comprised 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.
These are among 24 projects receiving a total of $1.5 million to launch or expand Aboriginal services as part of B.C.’s three-year Provincial Domestic Violence Plan, which sees its second anniversary this week. The plan has allocated $2 million for Aboriginal communities and organizations to develop and deliver local programs for Aboriginal women, men and children affected by domestic violence. In September 2015, the Province announced $500,000 was being invested to increase access to transition house and safe-home services for Aboriginal women and children affected by domestic violence.
John Martin, MLA for Chilliwack –
“This funding will greatly benefit the Xolhemet Society and the women and children who receive support from the organization. Providing additional funding to the Society to expand the excellent services it currently provides to Aboriginal women will continue to help reduce domestic violence in our community.”
Laurie Throness, MLA for Chilliwack-Hope –
“Enhancing the existing programs will provide additional support and services to help families overcome domestic violence.”
Chastity Davis, Minister’s Advisory Council on Aboriginal Women –
“Our council continues to collaborate with the Province to find ways to address the systematic issues and root causes that are the reasons that domestic violence is occurring at alarmingly high rates to Aboriginal women and their children. We believe this funding is a good start to address the issues as specific to our communities’ unique needs throughout the province to help men, women and children overcome abuse and live healthy safe lives.”
- In 2013, there were 12,359 police-reported victims of intimate partner violence throughout B.C. However, it is estimated that only about one in four women ever report their abuse to police.
- Aboriginal women are three times more likely to experience violence and be assaulted by their partner than non-Aboriginal women.
- The B.C. government commits more than $70 million per year in prevention and intervention services, and programs that benefit victims of domestic violence and other crimes.
- The Vision for a Violence Free BC Strategy is B.C.’s long-term path to creating a province where all women have the supports they need to help prevent violence, escape from violent situations, and recover if they have been victims of violence.
- In 2015, the Province invested more than $5 million in civil forfeiture grant funding to support community-led anti-violence and crime prevention initiatives, with $3.4 million devoted to projects that support the Vision for a Violence Free BC Strategy.
- Over $1 million in civil forfeiture grants this year were provided to fund 58 projects focused on supporting Aboriginal communities in anti-violence and prevention initiatives.
- The Minister’s Advisory Council on Aboriginal Women provides advice to government on how to improve the quality of life for Aboriginal women.
- In December 2014, MACAW members chose 37 community-based groups in B.C. to share $350,000 in grants for programs aimed at changing behaviours and attitudes, and mobilizing communities.
- The Province and the federal government have allocated over $2.9 million to support the Off-Reserve Aboriginal Action Plan.
- The Off-Reserve Aboriginal Action Plan aims to provide better support for Aboriginal people in urban areas by increasing employment and education opportunities, and engaging with the growing Aboriginal youth population.
To read the Provincial Domestic Violence Plan and learn more about the Provincial Office of Domestic Violence, visit: www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/podv/index.htm
To read the Provincial Office of Domestic Violence Annual Report, visit: http://www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/podv/pdf/dv_pp_far.pdf
We can’t stop domestic violence if we don’t all speak up, visit: http://www.saysomethingbc.ca/
To read the Vision for a Violence Free BC strategy, visit: www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/victimservices/shareddocs/pubs/violence-free-bc.pdf
For more information on additional government services and supports for Aboriginal children, youth, and their families, visit: www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/about_us/aboriginal/index.htm
For more information on the Minister's Advisory Council on Aboriginal Women, visit: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/aboriginal-people/minister-s-advisory-council-on-aboriginal-women-macaw