DAWSON CREEK – The Mizpah Transition House, Chetwynd Safe Home and Tumbler Ridge Safe Home are receiving a total of $20,000 to help support Aboriginal women and children who are affected by domestic violence and fleeing abuse so they can rebuild their lives.

The Mizpah Transition House is receiving $10,000 and the Chetwynd Safe Home and Tumbler Ridge Safe Homes are each receiving $5,000.

“This funding will help local Aboriginal women, children and youth access the supports and services in their time of need,” said Mike Bernier, MLA for Peace River South. “Our government continues to support victims of violence and we are working diligently to ensure all women, children and families throughout B.C. can feel safe and not have to suffer from the fear of violence.”

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 allow the South Peace Community Resources Society to help improve programs and services and make them more accessible to the Aboriginal women and children who need them, especially in rural and remote communities.

The transition house and safe homes offer short-term counselling and shelter for women and their children at risk of or who have experienced violence. In addition, they help provide access to supports and services such as information and supports for decision-making, short-term shelter or housing, referrals to other services and links to affordable housing.

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.

“South Peace Community Resources Society will use funds provided by the Office of Domestic Violence for Dawson Creek, Chetwynd and Tumbler Ridge to ensure the systems that respond to violence against women and their children are easily accessible for all,” said Arden Smith, South Peace Community Resources Society family safety, counselling and support services department manager. “Staff in all of our programs collaborate with aboriginal organizations in their respective communities and recognize the need for additional supports for the most vulnerable and marginalized women.”

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.