Kamloops Sexual Assault Counselling Centre receives funding from Ending Violence Association of BC

Response team to go 24/7

The Kamloops Sexual Assault Counselling Centre (KSACC) has been awarded a two-and-a-half-year grant from the Ending Violence Association (EVA) of BC. 

Upon receiving the grant, Alix Dolson, the KSACC's agency coordinator, says they will be using their portion of the funding to continue to grow and build their domestic violence and sexual assault response team (DVSAR).  

“We’ve been waiting a long time to be able to offer this kind of support 24 hours in our community,” Dolson tells Castanet.

“We have that DVSAR team currently operating but it’s not operating at full capacity, which means that survivors don’t have the opportunity to access those services and support any time day or night. So this funding will allow us to expand that program to increase services and hours available, and make sure that no matter when survivors are needing to access services, they have supports available.”

Outside of just supporting the Kamloops community, KSACC looks after the surrounding area as well. 

“We have offices in Chase and in Logan Lake. Folks in Merritt get transported to Kamloops so we would be able to support individuals if they are coming from one of those more rural communities,” says Dolson of the added funding. 

With the coronavirus pandemic, the cases of domestic violence have risen drastically across Canada, as seen in a national survey from Women’s Shelters Canada. 

“We know that survivors are trying to navigate this without support and it’s not serving them well. We know sexual assault and domestic violence are happening regularly in our community and we know that there has been an increase as a result of this pandemic,” Dolson says.

EVA received proposals totalling $30 million, from organizations like KSACC, but could only fund $10 million. Kamloops was one of 23 communities to receive a grant.

“It was really validating to know that the work we’re already doing in the community is recognized as being in a place to leverage up and offer more comprehensive services. KSACC used to offer this type of programming previously, and then in 2001, when that funding was cut with the changing of government, it was devastating. So we’re really excited to get back to doing the work again,” Dolson tells Castanet, adding staff hope to offer 24/7 support in January.

If you feel as though you, or someone you know, needs assistance or support, the 24-hour anti-violence hotline is always available at 1-888-974-7478. 

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