Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Morris is marking Prevention of Violence Against Women Week, April 17-23, 2016, with the following statement:
“On average, more than 32 abused women seek shelter in British Columbia each day – and there were an estimated 70,000 sexual assault incidents in the province in 2014, with women or girls the victims in most cases. Equally concerning, most incidents of violence against women go unreported.
“As a witness to domestic violence in my childhood and as a police officer for more than three decades, I understand how threats, economic and child custody concerns, and other significant challenges, can limit a victim’s opportunities to break free. Nobody should interpret the pervasiveness of violence, or limited reporting, as a sign that the problem is acceptable or unassailable.
“It is neither. And our government’s multi-year strategy continues to work toward a Violence Free BC in which all women are safe from all forms of violence. In March 2016, we provided $3.7 million in grant funding to support 111 community-led projects that align with key priorities in the Vision for a Violence Free BC strategy and address violence against women.
“Engaging everyone in changing attitudes and responses to violence is key. To these ends, we launched the #SaySomething public awareness campaign last year – with thought-provoking ads, spread via social media, featuring text conversations designed to raise awareness of domestic violence. It also promoted practical advice and tips to help British Columbians better understand what they can do to safely help those experiencing domestic violence.
“Recently, we expanded this campaign through the launch of new ads that challenge attitudes and behaviours that perpetuate sexual violence. A supporting website – saysomethingbc.ca – provides information for witnesses, family and friends, and victims of sexual violence themselves. I encourage all British Columbians to visit this site.
“I believe supports to victims of violence in B.C. – including more domestic violence units and enhanced outreach programs for vulnerable women – provide the vital resources and expertise needed to help victims become survivors. Confidential help is available in many languages, toll-free, through the 24/7 VictimLinkBC line: 1 800 563-0808.”