The Provincial Office of Domestic Violence (PODV) was established in 2012 and works with other provincial ministries, law enforcement agencies and anti-violence community partners to ensure continuous improvements that strengthen the effective co-ordination and delivery of domestic violence related services in British Columbia. As part of a three-year provincial plan to address domestic violence in B.C., the PODV requested feedback through an online public consultation process, as well as discussion forums with service providers, Aboriginal community partners, cross-ministry partners and subject matter experts, mainly focusing on the following six themes:
- Public awareness and prevention;
- Supports and services for victims, survivors and offenders;
- Justice system response;
- Coordination, information-sharing and referral;
- Research, training and evaluation; and
- Approaches to address the unique needs of vulnerable persons.
The overarching goal of this consultation process was to develop a comprehensive plan that included an Aboriginal strategy and addressed the unique needs of immigrant and refugee women, and women with disabilities. As part of the consultation process, 7 British Columbian Cabinet Ministers (Children and Family Development Minister Stephanie Cadieux, Justice Minister and Attorney General Shirley Bond, Health Minister Dr. Margaret MacDiarmid, Education Minister Don McRae, Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister Ida Chong, Social Development Minister Dr. Moira Stilwell and Minister of Energy and Mines, and Minister Responsible for Housing Rich Coleman) sat down with representatives from 46 key partner organizations to follow-up on discussions that had begun on November 6, 2012 in a Community Partners’ Forum led by the PODV.
January 22 to February 18, 2013
- Over 450 online responses from the public
- Approximately 80 key partners participated in a consultation forum (November 2012)
- 7 Cabinet Ministers (listed above) hosted a panel discussion attended by approximately 125 key stakeholders from the lower mainland
Input leads to action:
The PODV is accountable for and will report out annually on the implementation of the three-year, $5.5 million Provincial Domestic Violence Plan (the Plan) that was released on February 5, 2014. Implementation of the Plan began on April 1, 2014 and includes the creation of additional specialized domestic violence units, programs for Aboriginal families, direct services for perpetrators, and improved access to services and social housing for survivors in rural and remote communities, the breakdown of the Plan is:
- A $1 million investment to support the start-up of additional specialized domestic violence units;
- A $2 million investment in the delivery of programs specifically for Aboriginal women, men and children affected by domestic violence;
- A $1 million investment to provide direct supports and intervention services for perpetrators to hold them accountable and support changes in behaviours and attitude; and
- A $1.5 million investment in direct supports to women and children for housing and transportation in rural communities.
As part of the Plan, the Ministry of Justice developed a framework for domestic violence courts to provide guidance on best practices in establishing specialized domestic violence court process in British Columbia. There are now distinct domestic violence court processes in Nanaimo, Duncan, Kelowna, Penticton and Kamloops.