Crisis hotlines are a lifeline to survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) and are critical support services.
Today, Jenna Sudds, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, and the Honourable Natalie Jameson, Prince Edward Island’s Minister responsible for the Status of Women, announced $500,000 to support crisis hotlines across Prince Edward Island.
This funding will help PEI crisis hotlines serve the urgent needs of Canadians. The crisis hotlines will offer more robust services, resources, and support to prevent the escalation of gender-based violence.
This announcement marks one of the bilateral agreements recently signed with provincial and territorial governments. Over the next few months, the Government of Canada will continue to work with other provinces and territories to finalize similar bilateral agreements. It also builds upon the Government of Canada’s commitment to providing approximately $300 million in emergency COVID-19 funding to support individuals experiencing gender-based violence.
Since April 2020, the Government of Canada invested over $250 million of emergency COVID-19 funding in 1,400 women’s shelters, sexual assault centres, and other organizations, including almost 140 organizations that serve Indigenous individuals.
“For many women fleeing domestic violence, crisis hotlines offer critical support. They serve as a connection to safe, trauma-informed resources and offer a vital listening ear during a vulnerable time. Gender-based violence is a pervasive, deadly, and deeply rooted human rights violation, and we will continue working closely with provincial and territorial governments to prevent it in all its forms. Today, we are heartened to provide Prince Edward Island with the support they need as we sign yet another agreement to support crisis hotlines.”
– Jenna Sudds, Member of Parliament for Kanata-Carleton and Parliamentary Secretary for Women and Gender Equality and Youth
“We are here because we know that true and lasting gender equality is only possible when women, girls, and gender-diverse people are safe and supported. We have been advocating for federal support for gender-based violence and equity measures for some time, and I am truly pleased that Women and Gender Equality Canada is listening by providing this funding to Prince Edward Island. Women and girls across PEI are counting on us, and we need to set up and ensure we have the support in place when and where they need it.”
– The Honourable Natalie Jameson, Minister responsible for the Status of Women
“Access to crisis hotlines is critical for the support of women in PEI who are experiencing gender-based violence. This federal and provincial partnership will be key to bolstering the hotlines and making them available to survivors on the Island who rely on them. I value this development in our government’s goal to moving towards a Canada free from gender-based violence.”
– Sean Casey, Member of Parliament for Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
“PEI Rape and Sexual Assault Centre is very happy to receive this to respond to survivors of sexual violence in our province. Statistics Canada’s review of police-reported crime data showed 2021 recorded a 21% increase in sexual assaults in PEI compared to 2020. In the last five years, the number of reported sexual assaults in the province more than doubled. We also know that cases reported to police only represent a small fraction of actual occurrences of sexualized violence. This funding will allow us to incorporate new technology and staffing to build our resource, referral, and education responses to victims/survivors of all genders, especially for young survivors between the ages of 12-24, many of whom prefer to access our services by text or chat as a first step to accessing the help they need.”
– Rachael Crowder, Executive Director of the PEI Rape and Sexual Assault Centre
“We deeply appreciate the funds to support and improve our crisis line. This number is a key gateway into our services. Staff know the best services we have for that caller. This line is for more than just crisis – it’s also for information and general support. You may need someone to talk to even if the crisis is over. We also receive many calls from friends, family, or other service providers who want information or to find out how to help someone they know. We’re available 24/7, anonymously and confidentially.”
– Danya O’Malley, Executive Director of the PEI Family Violence Prevention Services
- Among the provinces, Prince Edward Island experienced the fastest growth in population (+8.0%) from 2016 to 2021.
- GBV disproportionately affects women and girls. Certain intersectional populations also experience high levels of violence or are underserved in the GBV sector, such as Indigenous women and girls; Black and racialized women; immigrant and refugee women; members of 2SLGBTQI+ communities; people with disabilities; and women living in Northern, rural, and remote communities.
- About one in three (34%) GBV shelters surveyed in 2021 reported being impacted to a great extent by the pandemic, overall, while more than four in ten (44%) shelters were impacted to a moderate extent.
- In 2021, half (49%) of shelters surveyed reported an increase in the number of crisis calls received compared with before the pandemic.
- While PEI’s calls might not have increased during COVID lockdown measures, the complications and complexities of the calls have intensified.
• Women and Gender Equality Canada
• Gender-Based Violence Knowledge Centre
• Federal Budget 2021
• PEI Family Violence Prevention Services
• PEI Rape and Sexual Assault Centre
Press Secretary and Issues Manager
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth
Women and Gender Equality Canada
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