Government funds 500 women’s shelters during COVID-19 crisis. Over $200 million has been invested since 2017
The Canadian government continues to initiate support for Canada’s most vulnerable people during these times of uncertainty. This includes taking critical measures and making new investments to support shelters that provide a safe space for women fleeing violence and their families, and to ensure the continuing resilience of organizations assisting survivors of sexual assault.
On April 4, 2020 the Government of Canada announced up to $40 million through Women and Gender Equality Canada for women fleeing gender-based violence.
Over the weekend, Maryam Monsef the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, announced that funding has been disbursed to over 500 women’s shelters and sexual assault centres from coast to coast to coast.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, women’s shelters and sexual assault centres across the country required support to manage demand, and these needs have increased significantly over the last few weeks. During these exceptional times, additional resources are needed so that organizations can continue to provide desperately needed support to some of Canada’s most vulnerable.
To meet these needs, the Government of Canada provided $20.54 million to Women’s Shelters Canada which has, to date, distributed funding to 422 violence against women shelters across Canada. Another $3 million was provided to the Canadian Women’s Foundation, which has, to date, provided funding to 89 sexual assault centres across the country. An additional $6.46 million was given directly to the Government of Quebec and is flowing to women’s shelters and sexual assault centres in the province.
The Governments emergency funding ensures the continuity and sustainability of services provided by these organizations, supporting their efforts to adjust to the evolving needs of survivors, while facing sudden and unexpected changes to everyday operations.
The many dedicated organizations supported by these investments include Inasmuch House in Hamilton, Ontario, which will keep crisis lines and emergency shelter services open to survivors, Miramichi Emergency Centre for Women in Miramichi, New Brunswick, which will adapt their shelter to accommodate self-isolation procedures, Saskatoon Interval House in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, which will continue ensuring safe accommodations for families, and South Okanagan Women in Need Society in Penticton, British Columbia, which will purchase new equipment to connect remotely with survivors.
These and many other inspiring organizations supported by the Government of Canada have shown outstanding dedication, perseverance and creativity in their work of supporting survivors of violence in a difficult and unpredictable time. For a full list of organizations receiving funding, click here.
In June 2017, Women and Gender Equality Canada announced the first-ever federal Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence. To date, the Government of Canada has invested over $200 million to prevent gender-based violence, support survivors and their families, and create more responsive legal and justice systems.
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