Women’s safety must be the foundation on which all progress is built. A life free from violence is a must.
Newfoundland and Labrador – The COVID‑19 pandemic has highlighted gaps in the very systems designed to keep people safe. It has created unprecedented challenges for those experiencing gender-based violence and the organizations that provide supports and services to them.
Women’s safety must be the foundation on which all progress is built. That’s why, in the recent Speech from the Throne, the Government of Canada committed to accelerate investments in shelters and transition housing to ensure anyone facing gender-based violence has a safe place to turn.
Gudie Hutchings, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Women and Gender Equality announced up to $50 million in funding to support organizations providing supports and services to those experiencing gender-based violence.
This funding announced includes:
- Up to $10 million for women’s shelters and sexual assault centres to help them continue to provide their critical services safely;
- Up to $10 million to support organizations providing services related to gender-based violence to Indigenous people off-reserve; and
- Up to $30 million for other women’s organizations to support the delivery of GBV supports, to help combat the spread of COVID, and to address the increased demand for services.
The announcement builds on previous emergency funding provided to women’s shelters, sexual assault centres and other organizations providing gender-based violence services to ensure continuity of services at this challenging time. This brings the total COVID-19 emergency funding provided to GBV organizations to $100 million.
Through the first $50 million, more than 22 projects across Newfoundland and Labrador received much-needed funding that helped ensure they could keep their doors open to those in need. Organizations such as Committee on Family Violence, and Status of Women Councils from Bay St. George, Corner Brook and NORPEN used this funding to enhance cleaning and safety procedures, hire additional staff to manage additional workload, and purchase equipment to help them deliver their services remotely.
While moving swiftly to address immediate needs, the Federal Government, in partnership with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, is moving forward on a National Action Plan on gender-based violence. This work is focused on ensuring that people who experience gender-based violence have access to timely supports no matter where they live while also laying the foundation to eradicating this unacceptable violence altogether.
The Government has significantly increased funding to grow and strengthen the women’s movement. Between 2015 and 2019, federal support to women’s and equality-seeking organizations increased five-fold, compared to the previous five years. This fiscal year Women and Gender Equality Canada will make available over $100 million available to these organizations to ensure they can continue their important work, helping to build a stronger, more inclusive Canada. Six million Canadians benefit from the work of these organizations every year.
Since 2015 the Government helped 1 million Canadians get access to safe and affordable housing, including the creation or enhancement of nearly 7,000 units that provide safe housing to survivors of domestic violence.