May 9, 2007

Government provides additional help to victims of family violence and bullying

Calgary... Children's Services is investing an additional $2.6 million to help communities and organizations across the province provide services to victims of family violence and bullying. The funding will support sexual assault centres, women's shelters, safe visitation for families and community actions aimed at preventing family violence and bullying.

"The Alberta government remains strongly committed to working alongside our community partners to support victims of family violence and bullying," said Children's Services Minister Janis Tarchuk. "This funding will help address some of the devastating consequences faced by individuals, communities and society as a whole."

To help provide a safe environment for children dealing with family violence, $200,000 of this new funding will be used to continue development of safe visitation sites. These sites provide children in families experiencing family violence with a safe place to have supervised visits with parents. This new funding complements the $800,000 already dedicated to safe visitation and the five pilot sites located in Edmonton, Calgary, Lethbridge, Grande Prairie and Red Deer.

The ten sexual assault centres across the province will receive an additional $500,000 to continue working towards a comprehensive provincial strategy to improve services to victims of sexual violence in Alberta.

The remaining $1.9 million increase provided in Budget 2007 will be invested in new and ongoing community programs. This funding encourages community groups to work together to provide services to individuals, families and communities to address family violence and bullying.

As part of the $1.9 million, $570,000 will be distributed to contracted women's shelters to support a three and a half per cent increase in funding for salaries, retroactive to April 1, 2007.

In 2007-08, the Alberta government is committing approximately $47 million to the prevention of family violence and bullying initiative.

Preventing family violence and bullying is part of Premier Ed Stelmach's plan to provide safe and secure communities. Other priorities for government are to: govern with integrity and transparency, manage growth pressures, improve Albertans' quality of life and build a stronger Alberta.