NANAIMO – Community organizations working to safeguard vulnerable young people from gang involvement and protect victims of domestic, sexual and other forms of violence will benefit from more than $207,500 in government grants supporting public safety priorities.

This is part of a nearly $7.2 million province-wide investment — the largest-ever one-time grants investment in community crime prevention in B.C. — combining $5.5 million in provincial Civil Forfeiture Office (CFO) proceeds and $1.69 million from criminal forfeiture proceeds.

Recipients Include:

  • Haven Society: $69,280 for Nanaimo Region Domestic Violence Unit. The project will enhance specialized and coordinated responses to high risk situations of intimate partner violence through the Domestic Violence Unit.
  • Nanaimo Family Life Association: $40,000 for a Sexual Assault Response Team. The overall goal of the project is to develop a victim-sensitive approach to responding to the needs of sexual assault survivors in the community of Nanaimo while also providing direct service enhancements to survivors through the development of a volunteer network.
  • Nanaimo Region John Howard Society:
    • $20,000 for ‘Expanding the Reach through Mentorship.’ This project will serve at-risk youth ages 13-24 who have been referred to the Restorative Justice Program.
    • $20,000 for ‘Enriching the Community through Restorative Justice Training.’ Twenty community members will undertake advanced training to improve and enhance restorative justice facilitation skills to better serve victims.
  • Nanaimo Women’s Resources Society: $20,000 for a Community Action Team- Outreach and Connection for Women in the Sex Trade. This project focuses on providing outreach services that meet the needs of vulnerable women and girls in Nanaimo and help connect them to services and support to reduce their current risk of exploitation.
  • Stz’uminus First Nation (Ladysmith): $20,000 for ‘Safer Relationships, Safer Community.’ This project will be implemented by the mental health team of the Stz’uminus First Nation and is designed to address violence against Aboriginal women and to heal the community.
  • Ladysmith RCMP Victim Services c/o Ladysmith Resources Centre Association: $18,260 for ‘Caring on Empty – Creative Tools for Compassion Fatigue Transformation & Resilience.’ The project will deliver a one day workshop on compassion fatigue in Ladysmith for front-line Victim Service & Violence Against Women service providers on Vancouver Island.

“These local organizations offer invaluable resources that provide protection and services to children, women, men and seniors in our communities that are victims of domestic violence, sexual assaults and gang-related activities,” says Michelle Stilwell, MLA for Parksville-Qualicum. “These funds will help them continue their work to promote community safety.”

In all, more than 250 projects and programs throughout the province will receive a one-time grant. Nearly $2 million is dedicated to gang and youth crime prevention, and more than $3.5 million will go to community services that address violence against women and girls. The remainder will support training and education for frontline victims service workers, police training and special equipment, and restorative justice.

This year a new stream of civil forfeiture grants is dedicated to programs focused on sexual assault, including responses to sexual assault on post-secondary campuses. This builds on our Vision for a Violence Free BC, the Province’s long-term strategy to end all forms of violence against women.