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Nova Scotia tackles gender based violence with $18.3 million in funding

By Evan Taylor Dec 14, 2023 | 12:31 PM

Jason Leung / Unsplash

In a historic move to combat gender-based violence, the federal government has committed $18.3 million over the next four years to support Nova Scotia’s efforts. The funding agreement, inked on December 14, is part of the National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence, a 10-year initiative aiming to build a Canada free of such violence.

Jill Balser, Minister responsible for the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women, underscored the importance of collaboration. “By working together, we can create awareness, prevention strategies, and build a greater capacity to help break the devastating cycle of gender-based violence,” she stated.

This substantial financial injection will empower community-based service providers aligning with Nova Scotia’s action plan, Standing Together, and the recommendations of the Mass Casualty Commission. Lisa Hepfner, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, expressed optimism, saying, “We are making sure these supports are strong, culturally relevant, and respond to the needs of communities in Nova Scotia.”

The Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre, a longstanding advocate addressing domestic and gender-based violence, welcomed the funding. Pam Glode-Desrochers, Executive Director, highlighted the challenges due to inconsistent funding for programs. This funding from the national action plan aims to provide stability for community support programs, especially for youth, often in urgent circumstances.

Over 11 million Canadians have experienced intimate partner violence, a type of gender-based violence, at least once since the age of 15. Glode-Desrochers stressed the plan’s potential to create a stable environment for providing support.

The initiative directly impacts organizations like Peer Outreach Support Services & Education (POSSE). Kimm Kent, co-founder and Director of POSSE, expressed gratitude, stating, “This funding is a testament to both POSSE’s work and the commitment of the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women to invest in the people and services that tirelessly work to push back against systems that foster gender-based violence and oppression.”

This funding agreement is part of a series between the federal government and provinces and territories, emphasizing a nationwide effort to combat gender-based violence. The national action plan focuses on five pillars: support for survivors and their families; prevention; a responsive justice system; implementing Indigenous-led approaches; and social infrastructure and enabling environment.