NDP MLA says new sexual assault services and standards for policing will benefit vulnerable British Columbians in the Comox Valley

Posted in: , ,

COMOX VALLEY – New Democrat MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard says that people in the Comox Valley will benefit from the new sexual assault programs and new policing standards on responding to sexual assaults.

Sexual assaults are predominately perpetrated against women and girls. Indigenous or racialized women and girls, members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, sex workers, people with disabilities, and individuals experiencing poverty or homelessness have higher rates of victimization. Many survivors are hesitant about reporting sexual assault due to a distrust of the criminal justice system and the fear that they will not be believed.

Survivors are encouraged to contact sexual assault programs, crisis lines or general victim services programs, for support as well as to seek medical attention, whether or not they want to report to police. The decision to report to the police or not may be made at a later date.

“Survivors of sexualized violence deserve support and access to resources throughout their experience in recovering and getting justice,” said Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtenay-Comox. “This funding for organizations that support survivors will benefit people across B.C., including here in the Comox Valley where we’re fortunate to have the Comox Valley Transition Society doing this important work.”

The New Democrat government is providing $10 million in stable annual funding to support survivors of sexual assault and violence. To date, 58 service providers in 7 regions, including the Comox Valley Transition Society, are receiving $6,663,408.00. The new sexual assault programs will deliver co-ordinated, community-based sexual assault services in the following regions:


# of Service Providers














Thompson Cariboo Shuswap



Vancouver Coastal



Vancouver Island







Both the sexual assault programs and the new policing standards will be guided by victim-centred, trauma-informed, inclusive, and culturally safe approaches. They will be key components of B.C.’s Action Plan to address gender-based violence, which is being developed in partnership with Indigenous organizations, an advisory committee, experts, and advocates.

This funding for sexual assault services programs will begin in July 2023, and the new policing standards will take effect in 2024 to allow time for police to implement the requirements.

Learn More: https://news.gov.bc.ca/29267


Quick Facts:

  • Provincial standards set requirements for all British Columbia’s police agencies to promote best practices, accountability, and consistency.
  • Between March 2020 and March 2021, the Province provided $20 million for the multi-year Emergency Sexual Assault Services grant program to support the delivery of emergency sexual assault services throughout B.C until March 2023.
  • The Province provides over $54 million annually in stable funding for services and programs to support victims of crime, including over 470 victim service and violence against women programs operating in communities across BC.
  • This includes $10 million annually provided in Budget 2022, beginning in April 2023, to support the delivery of sexual assault programs that are victim-centred, trauma-informed, and coordinated depending on client needs.


For crisis line support for victims of gender-based violence

For more information on supports for people facing gender-based violence and B.C.’s Gender-Based Violence Action Plan, see: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/gender-equity/ending-gender-based-violence

To read about B.C. police standards, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/justice/criminal-justice/policing-in-bc/policing-standards