VICTORIA - The Province is investing over $5 million in Civil Forfeiture Office (CFO) proceeds to take further action on the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry (MWCI) recommendations and support the prevention of violence against women and youth crime prevention initiatives.
Twelve grants, for a total of more than $845,000, are being provided to key organizations to address the MWCI recommendations including:
PEERS Victoria, PEERS Drop-in Centre
- A $100,000 grant will allow PEERS Victoria to re-open their drop-in centre for the coming year. PEERS will also enhance services in their night outreach program that offers food, harm reduction supplies, and peer counselling.
PACE Society, Peer-Driven Aboriginal-Led Outreach Team
- PACE will use a $100,000 grant to expand its frontline services by adding an Aboriginal-led outreach team to support sex trade workers of Aboriginal ancestry in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.
Living in Community, Expanding Collaboration to Municipalities Across BC
- A $100,000 grant to facilitate the implementation of the Living In Community collaborative model in other communities and deliver education and awareness workshops.
Battered Women's Support Services Association, Empowerment Options for Transitioning and Exiting
- A $20,695 grant will leverage the knowledge and expertise of six community organizations in Metro Vancouver in the development of a service delivery model that responds to the needs of sex trade workers seeking to exit the sex trade.
Government continues to make significant progress on responding to the MWCI report, with today's funds addressing four additional recommendations and further supporting two others. This includes the evaluation of SisterWatch and funding to support the safety of vulnerable Aboriginal women and girls as they transition from rural to urban communities.
In addition, over $1 million in funding will go to programs to support vulnerable and at-risk women through existing and new Domestic Violence Units (DVUs) in the province including:
- Greater Victoria Regional Domestic Violence Unit
Funding will support the DVU to purchase a vehicle, develop a multi-day DVU training course, and enhance frontline victim services in the Capital region.
This latest round of civil forfeiture grants also includes approximately $1 million announced last fall to be made available for projects that prevent youth involvement in crime and other crime prevention initiatives.
Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton -
"We want to help women escape violent situations and experience life free of abuse and tragedy, which is why a majority of this civil forfeiture funding is going directly to organizations to respond to the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry recommendations and support vulnerable women. By using these proceeds of crime, we are able to fund crime prevention initiatives in our goal to work towards a violence-free B.C."
A/Staff Sergeant Jason Laidman, Victoria Police Department -
"The civil forfeiture grant is going to make a difference for our work on the highest-risk domestic violence cases in Greater Victoria. We work closely with domestic violence victims, children, and their families every day, and this provincial funding will help us with planning for their safety, to help connect them with community resources, and to hold offenders accountable for their actions."
- Since the civil forfeiture program became active, it has returned approximately $15 million from successful forfeiture actions to crime prevention and victims programs in B.C.
- B.C.'s self-funding Civil Forfeiture Office has taken in approximately $42 million since 2006, including more than $8.4 million in 2012-2013.
- In November 2013, government announcement up to $1 million in civil forfeiture grants were available for projects that help to prevent youth crime and domestic violence, as well as the sexual exploitation of women and girls.
- This year, government committed to introducing a long-term, comprehensive strategy to move toward a violence-free B.C.
B.C.'s Civil Forfeiture Office: http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/civilforfeiture
The Province's Status Report on FORSAKEN - The Report of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry: http://www.ag.gov.bc.ca/public_inquiries/docs/BCGovStatusReport.pdf
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Justice