Core Funding Needed for Sexual Assault Centres
Sexualized violence continues to be a critical issue in Canada: 1,397 sexual assaults occur each day. Statistics show that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 2 Trans people will experience gender-based violence in their lifetimes. We also know that marginalized folks in our communities, such as people with disabilities, Trans women, Two-Spirit folks, women of colour, Indigenous women, and newcomers to Canada, disproportionately experience sexualized violence. As awareness about sexual assault and available services has increased, due in part to social movements such as #metoo, so has demand from survivors for critical sexual assault services.
Funding for sexual assault services has not kept up with the demand. Sexual assault centres such as ours do not receive core funding for our services and must fundraise to sustain critical programs. Lack of core funding has caused VSAC to close our Crisis and Information Line and threatens other critical sexual assault services across the province. Core funding is urgently needed to sustain sexual assault services and meet the rising demand.
In response to the closure of our Crisis and Information Line, Victoria MP Murray Rankin has publicly spoken about the need for core funding of sexual assault/rape crisis centres in BC.
[Murray Rankin: “Mr. Speaker, due to a lack of funding, the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre has had to discontinue its hotline after decades of service. Year in, year out, the hotline has helped hundreds of women in Victoria. Across the country, rape crisis centres face the same urgent problem, and with the surge of victims coming forward after the Me Too movement, the situation just gets worse.
If the Prime Minister is truly concerned with the well-being of women and sexual assault victims, why does he not provide, in the budget, stable, predictable, operating funding to rape crisis centres?”]