SURVIVORS of gender-based violence throughout the province will soon have better access to critical services they need in times of crisis.
Salal Sexual Violence Support Centre (Salal) and the Indian Residential School Survivors Society (IRSSS) have received new federal funding to enhance their crisis lines, which provide 24-hour provincewide, comprehensive, specialized gender-based violence supports. These services include risk assessment, immediate safety planning and addressing the unique needs of Indigenous victims.
“People in danger need to know they have options,” said Kelli Paddon, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity, on Wednesday. “As we continue to develop a gender-based violence action plan for B.C., the Indian Residential School Survivors Society and Salal will help strengthen supports available to ensure people are cared for, provided trauma-informed and culturally appropriate support, and can begin the path toward healing when the time is right for them.”
The two organizations will receive $2.75 million over four years as part of Women and Gender Equality Canada’s National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence. During the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations operating crisis lines in British Columbia reported an increased volume of calls as people experiencing violence and those seeking related services experienced barriers to accessing services safely. The federal funding will support these organizations to enhance and expand their crisis-line services, allowing them to help more people in B.C.
“People who experience gender-based violence need to be able to access supports and the care they need when and where they need it,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “Our government has created stable, ongoing funding for sexual assault services programs and substantially increased funding to other victim-service programs. We know there is more to do, and enhancing crisis lines will make a critical difference for many women, girls, transgender and non-binary people across B.C.”
Salal Sexual Violence Support Centre offers 24-hour immediate crisis assistance, and anti-oppressive, decolonizing and intersectional feminist support to survivors of gender-based violence, including sexualized and domestic violence, as well as workshops to increase knowledge and awareness about sexual violence in communities throughout British Columbia.
The IRSSS provides support to Indian residential school survivors, students and intergenerational survivors, while also offering 24-hour crisis support and support for families affected by trauma related to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and trauma-informed cultural support to survivors of gender-based violence.
Salal and IRSSS crisis-line services complement other local and regional crisis lines, including the provincewide VictimLinkBC helpline that is available to victims of all types of crime. By supporting Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations in expanding their survivor-support services and crisis lines, the Province is working toward creating safer communities and providing options for those facing crisis.
* The ministry provides more than $54 million annually to support more than 400 victim-service and violence-against-women programs throughout the province.
* WAGE Canada reported on August 10, 2022, that during the COVID-19 pandemic the demand for crisis-hotline services significantly increased across Canada.
* Salal’s call volumes increased by more than 70% in 2021-22 compared to pre-pandemic call volumes in 2019-20.
* VictimLinkBC’s call volumes increased by approximately 40% in 2021-22 compared to pre-pandemic call volumes in 2019-20.
For more information about the Salal Sexual Violence Support Centre, visit:
For immediate crisis support, call 604 255-6344 on the Lower Mainland
or the national toll-free line: 1 877 392-7583.
For more information about IRSSS, visit:
For immediate crisis support, call: 1 800 721-0066.