The 100 Mile House Safe Home, which is operated by the 100 Mile House & District Women’s Centre Society, has received $5,000 from the provincial government to help support aboriginal women and children.
Society executive director Sonja Ramsay says the Women’s Centre is exceptionally pleased to have secured $5,000 from the provincial government to help aboriginal women and children fleeing violence.
“The $5,000 is a one-time grant to be spent specifically to support aboriginal women and children to flee abuse and access safe shelter.
Noting the society administers the Safe House program that is funded through BC Housing, Ramsay says the program has not seen a budget increase since the early 1990s.
“Low funding levels for the Safe House program has consistently limited the amount of travel Women Centre staff can carry out. The onus of transportation has often fallen on the shoulders of women, their families or their communities to transport them to safety when fleeing abuse,” she explains.
“This has been to the detriment of the woman’s ability to get to safety at all, allowing the cycle of domestic violence to continue.”
With the extra $5,000 added to the Safe House program, Ramsay says Women’s Centre staff can now travel to meet aboriginal women and children living on reserve, in rural and remote areas and help them flee to safety.
“This removes the extra stress of finding safe and secure transport in a moment of emergency and crisis. Often, women are isolated without access to a vehicle; their ties cut from their support networks; and they have no way out other than a Safe House worker coming to get them at safe and secure locations.”
Noting staff can travel up to 200 kilometres to meet a Safe House client, Ramsay says these funds truly provide safe options for aboriginal women and children.
“We hope our community becomes really familiar with the services available through the Safe House program, so that if people know aboriginal women and children who need the Safe House, they know they can always come to us when in need.”
Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett says there’s no excuse for domestic or any type of violence.
“It’s crucial that women and children who are victims are given tools and the supports they need. This funding will directly help local aboriginal women escape violent situations and make their lives better.”