↗ Government reports that both Family Violence Prevention Services and the Rape and Sexual Assault Centre received additional funding last year that a further increase for both organizations will result from the 2009/2010 budget. We look forward to hearing more details about these investments in vital community-based services.
↗ The Interministerial Women’s Secretariat has provided funding for in-house staff training at PEI Family Violence Prevention Services.
→ After a very long wait, the Province has finally filled the Family Violence Prevention and Community Development Coordinator position and begun to reconstitute the Premier’s Action Committee on Family Violence Prevention. The Status of Women Council was very concerned to see these important roles unfilled for so long and looks forward to a commitment that violence against women, with its roots in gender inequality, will be a strong focus for government policy, planning, and programming in the realm of family violence prevention.
↘ While it is accurate to say that funding will increase for crucial community-based services for victims of violence, it is important to ask if that funding is enough to support sustainability. Government has supported organizational reviews and restructuring for FVPS and the Rape and Sexual Assault Centre: now it is time to ensure they can thrive under their renewed models. For instance, Family Violence Prevention Services has not historically received provincial funding for 100% of the work that they do. They undertake fundraising for about $60,000 a year, just to be equipped to meet community need for their services. Without larger increases, organizations’ ability to focus on preventing violence, in addition to providing emergency services after the fact, may be increasingly limited when they could instead be expanded, to everyone’s benefit.
This is an excerpt from the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women 2009 Equality Report Card for PEI, released in June 2009 and based on information updated to May 30, 2009.