British Columbia has announced a new three-year action plan that it says aims to end stigma around gender-based violence and ensure access to supports.
The plan includes building more housing for women and children leaving violence, expanding cell service to make travel safer, and adding 75 new sexual assault support programs.
It also includes establishing new free virtual counselling as well as new 24/7 crisis lines, new policing standards and stronger victim support services.
The province says the federal government has pledged $61.9 million over four years for the plan under a new Canada-British Columbia bilateral agreement, which was struck Friday.
It says more than half of that new funding will be invested in Indigenous-led initiatives that will soon be announced.
Kelli Paddon, parliamentary secretary for gender equity, says this money will contribute to initiatives already started in the province, including its $1.2-billion commitment over 10 years to build 3,000 new homes for children and women leaving violence — more than 1,000 of which are already complete.
"With this action plan, we are lifting up Indigenous-led approaches, breaking cycles of violence and working with communities to strengthen safety and supports for survivors," Paddon said in a news release Sunday.