October 5th, 2020
Toronto, ON – YWCA Canada welcomes the recently announced funding of $50 million for shelters, transitional housing, and sexual assault centres to support the provision of services and supports for survivors of gender-based violence.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a rise of domestic violence in Canada ranging from a 20% to 30% increase in certain parts of the country. Furthermore, Statistics Canada survey data from March and April revealed that 1 in 10 women in Canada were very or extremely concerned about the possibility of violence in the home.
Maya Roy, CEO of YWCA Canada highlighted, “Across the country, our YWCAs have been continuing to operate shelters and support services for survivors of gender-based violence around the clock. This funding will help organizations like ours do what we do best – support communities in challenging times and provide them with safety and security.”
YWCA Canada has 34 shelters, many of which that focus on supporting women and children fleeing violence and survivors of gender-based violence. Previous funding to support shelters was used to buy personal protective equipment to keep essential shelter workers safe, invest in infrastructure to safely maintain physical distancing, and hire more staff to meet the increased demand of services. As the second wave picks up, investments such as the Government of Canada’s recent funding announcement will be vital to keeping workers safe.
Roy shared, “We thank our donors and volunteers who have been critical to keeping our doors open and lights on. Their continued support is what is helping us be there for communities all year round.”
YWCA Canada continues to advocate for action to address and eliminate gender-based violence in all its forms in Canada such as through the timely creation of the National Action Plan on Gender-Based Violence. YWCA Canada has also been echoing the calls for swift action on implementing the Calls to Justice from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, as well as the urgent need to develop and launch the National Action Plan to address violence against Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit and LGBTQ people.
As Roy emphasized, “Addressing gender-based violence must be our top concern. As we talk about economic recovery and building back better, we must recognize we cannot have an economy in a climate of fear, hate, or violence.”
YWCA Canada’s Feminist Economic Recovery Plan highlights that a critical pillar to economic recovery must be addressing the shadow pandemic of gender-based violence. To read more about the Plan, visit www.feministrecovery.ca.
The federal funding of $50 million will allocate:
- Up to $10 million for women’s shelters and sexual assault centres to help them continue to provide their critical services safely;
- Up to $10 million to support organizations providing services related to gender-based violence to Indigenous people off-reserve; and
- Up to $30 million for other women’s organizations to support the delivery of GBV supports, to help combat the spread of COVID, and to address the increased demand for services.
To learn more, visit the Government of Canada’s website at: https://www.canada.ca/en/status-women/news/2020/10/government-of-canada-accelerates-investments-in-shelters-transition-housing-and-other-organizations-providing-gender-based-violence-supports-and-se.html
About YWCA Canada
YWCA Canada is a leading voice for women, girls, Two-Spirit and gender diverse people. For 150 years, we’ve been at the forefront of a movement: to fight gender-based violence, build affordable housing and advocate for workplace equity. We work to advance gender equity by responding to urgent needs in communities, through national advocacy and grassroots initiatives. Local YWCAs invest over $258 million annually to support over 330,000 individuals across the nation. Today, we engage young leaders, diverse communities, and corporate partners to achieve our vision of a safe and equitable Canada for all.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Anjum Sultana, Director of Public Policy & Strategic Communications
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