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Posted: August 11, 2015

Domestic violence help groups get funds

One organization in Cranbrook and another in Fernie are receiving funding from the Ministry of Children and Family Development to help support Aboriginal women and children who are affected by domestic violence and fleeing abuse so they can rebuild their lives.

The Elk Valley Safe House in Fernie is receiving $10,000 and the Kootenay Haven Transition House in Cranbrook is receiving $5,000.

Aboriginal women and children make up a large percentage of British Columbians who are affected by domestic violence and other crimes. In fact, Aboriginal women in B.C. are nearly three times more likely to be victims of domestic violence than non-Aboriginal women.

“This funding will help Aboriginal women in the East Kootenay who experience domestic violence to get the help they need to rebuild their lives by providing them with services and supports,” stated Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett. “Our government will continue to support victims of domestic violence as we work to ensure all women and children can feel safe and secure.”

This funding will allow the Elkford Women’s Task Force Society and the Canadian Mental Health Association for the Kootenays to help improve programs and services and make them more accessible to the Aboriginal women and children who need them.

For example, the subsidy will be used toward the cost of:

– Transportation to a transition house/safe home, a doctor’s appointment or lawyer meeting, or to fly a high-risk client out of the community;

– Medical and legal services;

– Important documents, such as identification;

– Clothing and personal items if the woman/child had to leave their home quickly.

Today’s announcement is part of the provincial government’s second- and third-year commitments under the three-year, $5.5-million Provincial Domestic Violence Plan to provide direct services for Aboriginal children, youth and families in rural and remote communities.

The B.C. government commits more than $70 million per year in prevention and intervention services and programs that benefit victims of domestic violence and other crimes.

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