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OP/ED: BC Budget fails Kootenay women and children

The BC budget for 2013 fails women and children right here in the Kootenays, according to Castlegar and District Community Service Society's Mary DeVan.

DeVan issued the following press release panning the province's lack of action in responding to violence against women and children:

The 2013 BC budget was released yesterday, and there are no increases provided for critical services that respond to violence against women and children throughout BC, nor in the Kootenays.

Yet awareness of violence against women and children is rising and service delivery pressures are at an all time high. Many reports make recommendations for change and increased funding, however no new resources have been allocated in the government’s budget for safety and services for women and kids.

This is despite numerous Coroner’s Inquests and Death Review Panels across North America that have identified that access to such services is critical to life-saving help for victims.

The 2013 budget includes a $197 million dollar surplus and yet there are no increases to ensure victims of domestic and sexual violence have access to important life-saving support services.

While the BC Government has spent significant resources on Commissions of Inquiry and Justice Reform initiatives, there are no funds in the budget to implement these and other report recommendations.

“Castlegar & District Community Services has services for women and children who have experienced violence but none of our contracts are fulltime and our programs continue to support the community with insufficient resources”, states Mary DeVan, Clinical Supervisor. “We are disappointed that the Government has again overlooked the importance of this sector and services needed for vulnerable people who have been (or are at risk of being) abused”.

For more information on programs provided through Castlegar & District Community Services please call 250-365-2104 or email info@cdcss.caor you are welcome to drop by our office at 1007 2nd Street.