Lack of funds for B.C. rape crisis centres decried by Vancouver advocate

2015 Walk for Rape Relief takes place in Stanley Park on May 31

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      A spokesperson for Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter wants to see the funding woes of rape crisis centres become a major issue in this year’s federal election.

      In B.C., Hilla Kerner told the Georgia Straight, no level of government provides core funding for these “crucial services”, which she called the “most effective tool to help women get free from men”.

      “There is much more interest in capitalism, increasing the wealth of the rich, pipelines, [and] environmental degradation than women’s lives,” Kerner said by phone about Canadian politics.

      Next Sunday (May 31), the 2015 Walk for Rape Relief will raise money for the nonprofit society. The walk will begin at Stanley Park’s Ceperley Meadow near Second Beach at 10:30 a.m. and end with a free picnic and live music.

      Kerner said she expects about 200 people to attend this year’s edition of the annual fundraiser, which has taken place since 1979. She noted donations allow the society to operate a rape crisis centre and transition house, provide other services to women dealing with male violence, and carry out feminist advocacy work.

      The Vancouver Rape Relief Funding Alliance is organizing the 2015 Walk for Rape Relief.
      Courtesy Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter

      Rape Relief is one of more than 150 women’s and other groups that are urging federal party leaders to commit to a nationally broadcast election debate on issues of women’s equality. Kerner called for the criminal-justice system to be more responsive to violence against women and for provincial governments to alleviate women’s poverty by increasing welfare rates.

      “We’re in a really, really bad time in terms of the federal and provincial governments’ treatment of women,” Kerner said.

      Since the start of the year, Kerner noted, five women have been killed by their husbands in B.C.

      “People need to know violence against women is real and very frequent,” Kerner said. “The government and the social services are completely inadequate. There is a vacuum that only women’s groups and women’s services can fill.”

      Comments

      49 Comments

      So conflicted

      May 20, 2015 at 10:15am

      I would love to be able to support VRR, but unfortunately they make it impossible by pursuing an anti-trans agenda, rooted in 1970s radical feminism. I agree with them on so much of what they say, and I support other orgs that don't misgender and oppress trans folks. Sad.

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      Inclusion goes a long way

      May 20, 2015 at 11:23am

      Women aren't the only ones who deal with the pains of rape.

      Stop marginalizing the pain of others.

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      Margery Fenworthy

      May 20, 2015 at 11:47am

      Brilliant action by a brilliant group! Signing up now

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      no So Conflicted

      May 20, 2015 at 11:49am

      so Conflicted! While you stay conflicted and say it's impossible to help women are being raped and beaten and trans are no better off.

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      A fantastic way to help women

      May 20, 2015 at 11:49am

      I am so happy to see the walkathon being promoted in the Georgia Straight. We cannot deny the amazing work Rape Relief is doing for women over the years. Me my boyfriend and my dog will be there !

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      a worthy cause

      May 20, 2015 at 12:03pm

      Rape Relief helps hundreds of women every year. That is cause worth standing behind.
      I'm very excited to be participating in the walk this year with my daughter!

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      Darlene Senin

      May 20, 2015 at 12:05pm

      I will be there with my boyfriend raising money for a much needed crisis line and safe home for battered women and their kids. An organization can't be everything to everyone this is a much needed service! See you there

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      Lynn Smith

      May 20, 2015 at 12:13pm

      This will be my fifth year walking the walk! Such important and vital work by women for women, see you again this year!

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      Emily

      May 20, 2015 at 12:22pm

      To say "we support women" doesnt mean " we dont recognize other people being marginalized" it means "we support women". This is a worthy cause in my book. Good work! i will participate!

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      Our family of 3 will be there!

      May 20, 2015 at 12:46pm

      We are looking forward to attending the walk this year as a family! It's such a fun day - great food, music, and women, men & kids all raising money to support an organization that helps women & girls escape violent men. I know that every dollar we're raising is going to support the transition house and the crisis line. I want to teach our young daughter about the important work Rape Relief does and although I hope she never has to call them, reality is that most women will experience some form of male violence in their lives - I'm grateful that Rape Relief is able to keep their phone lines open 24 hrs a day, every single day for all these years!

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