Government of Canada Supports Projects to Prevent and Address Family Violence in British Columbia

News release

Projects will support those who have experienced, are experiencing, or are at-risk of experiencing violence.

June 5, 2023 | Vancouver, British Columbia | Public Health Agency of Canada

Family violence and gender-based violence are serious public health issues that are strongly linked to mental health concerns and can have long-lasting consequences for survivors and for those around them. These issues touch families in all parts of Canada, and include many different forms of physical, sexual and emotional abuse and neglect. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting all survivors of family and gender-based violence and safeguarding the health and safety of those at risk.

Today, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, announced funding for two projects in British Columbia, totalling $1.7 million, to provide support to those affected by family and gender-based violence, with a particular focus on aiding women and racialized communities.

The Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health Society (CEWH), based in Vancouver, will receive $980,392 to launch the first Canadian self-guided workbook and social support program to address challenges related to intimate partner violence (IPV) and substance use (SU). The project will be launched in British Columbia and available to partners across Canada. Through this initiative, CEWH will collaborate with partner organizations to strengthen training resources for over 50 IPV and SU services providers and help them support women survivors across the country.

Based in Surrey, British Columbia, the DIVERSEcity Community Resource Society will receive $794,423 to launch Stories of Strength, a community-led initiative designed to address and prevent family violence specifically in immigrant and refugee communities. The initiative was adapted from the safe planning systems Signs of Safety™ (SOS™). It will provide multigenerational safety-planning resources to families from South Asian, Middle Eastern, and African newcomer communities in Surrey. This collaborative effort involves 250 partners who are working to enhance health and safety promotion in these communities.

The Government of Canada will continue working to prevent partner and family violence, support survivors, and break the cycle of violence in families and communities from coast to coast to coast.


“Everyone deserves to live safe and free from violence, but that isn’t a reality for many people. The funding announced today in British Columbia will be instrumental in helping those who have experienced or are at risk of family and gender-based violence find the support they need to achieve safety and stability in their lives. This investment is an important step forward, but we know we have more to do. Our government will continue to take action against family and gender-based violence and to build a future where all people are treated with dignity and respect.”

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health

“Improving the lives of everyone living in Canada a top priority for the Government of Canada. The funding announced today will benefit families, partners and survivors who are experiencing violence in the home. Our hope is that this training and the safety-planning courses will provide the necessary supports to reduce the impacts on people across the country.”

Taleeb Noormohamed
Member of Parliament for Vancouver Granville

“To promote women's health and safety, it is important to offer dual focused responses, that address the complex relationship between substance use and intimate partner violence. However, such approaches are rare. We at the Centre of Excellence for Women's Health are excited to have the opportunity in this project, to partner with anti-violence and substance use services across Canada, so integrated, trauma informed support on both of these important health issues will be available to women facing these interconnected burdens.”

Nancy Poole
Director, Centre of Excellence for Women's Health

“The Stories of Strength program is creating a community of champions to share their stories of resilience. Through our project we are connecting people with networks and community who understand the impacts of intimate partner violence. Surrey, bringing in 83,000 newcomers this last year we are seeing more need for wrap around services of support, especially gender based violences services. This funding has allowed us to address a need and bridge a gap in resources for newcomer women and children.”

Bobbi Terrell
Senior Manager, Counselling and Gender Based Violence Services, DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society

Quick facts

  • One third of Canadian adults report having experienced maltreatment as a child.

  • Family violence affects future relationships and future generations: children who have been abused, neglected or exposed to intimate partner violence are at risk of experiencing or perpetrating violence in adulthood. 

  • The Survey of COVID and Mental Health indicates risk factors for child maltreatment and family violence have increased. Risk factors include depression, parental stress and alcohol consumption. Additionally, five percent of Canadians reported concerns about violence in their homes during the third wave of the pandemic, between February and May 2021.

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Maja Staka
Senior Communications Advisor and Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada

Public Inquiries

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