During the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for crisis hotline services significantly increased across Canada. Crisis hotlines are a lifeline to survivors of gender-based violence and are critical support services.
Today, the Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, announced $30 million to support crisis hotlines across Canada. Minister Ien was joined by the Honourable Rochelle Squires, Manitoba’s Minister responsible for the Status of Women, to announce the first bilateral agreement to support crisis hotlines.
Over the next few months, the Government of Canada will work with each province and territory to sign similar bilateral agreements.
This funding will help crisis hotlines serve the urgent needs of Canadians. Crisis hotlines will offer more robust services, resources, and support to prevent the escalation of gender-based violence. This announcement builds on the Government of Canada’s commitment to providing approximately $300 million in emergency COVID-19 funding to support individuals experiencing gender-based violence.
To date, over $230 million has been provided to more than 1,300 women’s shelters, sexual assault centres, and other organizations. As a result, more than 1.3 million individuals experiencing violence have had a place to go and access to support.