Programs for Women and Children Fleeing Violence Help Thousands Daily, Turn Hundreds More Away
For Immediate Release
Vancouver, BC – A report released today shows that 2876 people were helped by programs in British Columbia for women, youth and children who have experienced violence during just one day in November 2011. The “24 Hour Census Report”, released by the BC Society of Transition Houses, provides information from the third annual survey of Transition Housing and Children Who Witness Abuse programs across BC.
Shabna Ali, Executive Director of BC Society of Transition Houses said the one-day survey ensures that no one is counted more than once, as can happen in monthly or annual tallies. “124 Transition Housing and Children Who Witness Abuse programs participated in the 2011 24 Hour Census”, said Ali. “The programs helped 1110 people in person, another 1461 via phone, email and texts and educated 305 people about violence against women. These programs do amazing work given the limited resources they have. "
Limited resources were identified as a major factor leading programs to turn 658 women, youth and children away who were looking for support. Respondents in the survey said that funding levels are not keeping pace with the rising costs of offering services, with one respondent saying, “The funding for this agency has not increased in the almost 20 years it has been in existence – and yet the need for this service has increased steadily.”
BC Society of Transition Houses is already gearing up for the 2012 survey, happening again in November. Speaking of the importance of the annual survey, Ali said she “hopes the 24 Hour Census will help British Columbians better understand the important work that community social services do. Programs for women, youth and children who have experienced violence are essential to keeping our communities safe. When one person is being turned away for every two that are helped, we need to be asking ourselves, and our funders, how we can do better. We all want our family members, our friends, our neighbours to be able to get help when they need it most.”
BC Society of Transition Houses is a non- profit society representing Transition Housing, Children Who Witness Abuse, and other programs for women, youth and children who have experienced violence in BC. Transition Housing programs provide support, advocacy and short-term shelter for women and their children who are fleeing violence. Children Who Witness Abuse Programs help youth between the ages of 3 and 18 understand and cope with family violence and the effects the violence has on themselves. The full report is available on the BC Society of Transition Houses website www.bcsth.ca.
Shabna Ali, Executive Director, BC Society of Transition Houses
Amanda Alexander, Chair of Board of Directors, BC Society of Transition Houses
Download Press Release [PDF]
Download 24 Hour Census Report [PDF]
Download 24 Hour Census Fact Sheet [PDF]