Release. Government’s extensive consultation with anti-violence groups has culminated in the release of the Provincial Domestic Violence Plan.
The new three-year, $5.5-million Provincial Domestic Violence Plan – co-ordinated through the Provincial Office of Domestic Violence (PODV) – delivers on government’s commitment to make B.C. a safer place for women, children and anyone who has been affected by domestic violence.
The plan is the result of public and anti-violence stakeholder consultations and includes the creation of additional specialized domestic violence units, programs for Aboriginal families, direct services for perpetrators, and improved access to services and social housing for survivors in rural and remote communities.
The plan also includes an Aboriginal response and specific approaches to address the unique needs of immigrant and refugee women and women with disabilities. Government will invest in direct services to address focus areas that were identified during the consultation process as key priorities.
“Our three-year Provincial Domestic Violence Plan will mean better direct service delivery for children, survivors and perpetrators of domestic violence.”
“We recognize the anti-violence sector has called for more funding and resources, and we know there is still more work to be done to address violence against women on a larger scale. This plan is the next essential step as we continue to build on the good work we’re doing in collaboration with the community anti-violence sector to make B.C. a safer place for women and families.” – Stephanie Cadieux, Minister of Children and Family Development
Highlights of the plan:
- $1 million to help with the startup and implementation of additional specialized domestic violence units, which will provide direct services to high-risk families.
- $2 million to develop and deliver programs specifically for Aboriginal women, men and children affected by domestic violence – including victims and perpetrators.
- $1 million to provide support and intervention for perpetrators to hold them accountable and support changes in behaviour and attitude.
- $1.5 million in direct supports to women and children for housing and transportation in rural and remote communities.
The first year of the plan will lay the groundwork for new and enhanced direct service delivery through work to:
- Enhance prevention and public awareness through an improved web presence and leverage existing provincial campaigns, such as Erase Bullying, Together to Reduce Elder Abuse and Be More Than a Bystander.
- Strengthen the justice system’s response to cases of domestic violence by exploring the development of a framework for domestic violence courts, and continued improvement in communications between police and Crown counsel for the purpose of charge assessment and case management.
- Improve co-ordination, information sharing and referrals between government and community organizations and agencies in cases of domestic violence.
- Develop further resources and training for the settlement sector on how to recognize and respond to domestic violence – specifically working more effectively with B.C.’s immigrant and refugee communities.
- Research and identify delivery models for First Nations on-reserve programs and programs for perpetrators, in consultation with partners.
The plan builds on the work of the anti-violence sector and the considerable steps government has taken to date to strengthen the services and supports available for all those affected by domestic violence. PODV worked closely with community and government partners to develop the Provincial Domestic Violence Plan. Consultation included discussion forums with service providers and experts, as well as an online public consultation that drew from the experiences and perspectives of hundreds of British Columbians affected by domestic violence. The Representative for Children and Youth was consulted and briefed on the plan.