Government of Canada Provides Funding to Saskatchewan to Support Crisis Hotlines
February 28, 2023 – Regina, Saskatchewan — Women and Gender Equality Canada
Crisis hotlines are a lifeline to survivors of gender-based violence and are critical support services. During the pandemic, the demand for crisis hotline services significantly increased across Canada.
Today, the Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, announced $1,000,000 to support crisis hotlines across Saskatchewan. Minister Ien was joined by the Honourable Laura Ross, Minister of Parks, Culture and Sport and Minister Responsible for the Status of Women Office in Saskatchewan, to announce the bilateral agreement.
Supporting crisis hotlines is an important initiative that is part of the ongoing efforts by the governments of Canada and Saskatchewan to address gender-based violence in the province. This funding will help crisis hotlines offer more robust services, resources, and supports to serve the urgent needs of all survivors of gender-based violence and their families, no matter where they live in Saskatchewan.
This announcement marks one of the bilateral agreements recently signed with provincial and territorial governments to support crisis hotlines. Since August, the Government of Canada has announced agreements in Manitoba, Yukon, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, Alberta, Quebec, and Prince Edward Island. The Government of Canada will continue to work with other provinces and territories to finalize similar bilateral agreements.
This announcement builds on the historic endorsement of the National Action Plan to End Gender-based Violence by the Federal, Provincial, and Territorial Ministers Responsible for the Status of Women in early November. Since April 2020, we’ve provided over $259 million of emergency COVID-19 funding to 1,400 women’s shelters, sexual assault centres, and other organizations, including 138 organizations that serve Indigenous individuals.
“We know that crisis hotlines are an essential service for survivors of gender-based violence, especially those living in rural communities. They serve as a safe space for anyone seeking help, and they offer a listening ear during someone’s most vulnerable time. Providing timely funding to these organizations will make sure that these hotlines are able to continue providing life-saving services for everyone, no matter where they live.”
The Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth
“Anyone impacted by gender-based violence knows it is an unthinkable act that affects far too many women and girls throughout Canada and around the world. We welcome this investment, which will help us expand crisis lines, an important step in our ongoing commitment to end gender-based violence and foster better and safer outcomes for women in our province.”
The Honourable Laura Ross, Minister of Parks, Culture and Sport and Minister Responsible for the Status of Women Office
“I am very pleased to see this first instalment of federal funding coming to Saskatchewan as part of the historic agreement between federal, provincial and territorial governments to address all forms of gender-based violence. Crisis lines are often the first point of contact for victims and survivors of gender-based violence as they seek safety and support. It is so important that these calls go directly to professionals trained in trauma-and-violence-informed practice and crisis counselling. Whether survivors need emergency shelter, counselling, referrals, ongoing outreach and support or just a caring ear, crisis lines can be a literal lifeline to those who experience violence and abuse.”
Jo-Anne Dusel, Executive Director at the Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan (PATHS)
The National Action Plan to End Gender-based Violence was launched by the Federal, Provincial, and Territorial (FPT) Ministers Responsible for the Status of Women in November 2022. The Plan sets out a framework for a Canada free of gender-based violence (GBV) – a Canada that supports victims, survivors, and their families from coast to coast to coast. This is a concrete step towards fulfilling a long-standing commitment of FPT governments to working together towards a Canada free of GBV.
GBV disproportionately affects women and girls. Certain intersectional populations also experience high levels of violence or are underserved in the GBV sector, such as Indigenous women and girls; Black and racialized women; immigrant and refugee women; members of 2SLGBTQI+ communities; people with disabilities; and women living in Northern, rural, and remote communities.
Crisis hotlines across Canada saw a dramatic surge in calls from June to October 2020, when the COVID lockdown measures first eased.
Statistics Canada reported that, in 2019, within the 10 provinces, Saskatchewan had the highest rates of family violence, police-reported family violence against children and youth, and intimate partner violence. As they have everywhere, these situations have only increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth
Women and Gender Equality Canada
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