Today, we give our heartfelt thanks to The Slaight Family Foundation for its incredible commitment to gender justice.
They are donating $1.5 million to the Canadian Women’s Foundation to create the “Ending Gender-Based Violence in Critical Communities Grant.”
The grant will help organizations that serve marginalized women, girls, and gender-diverse people in city centres, specifically supporting survivors of abuse to leave dangerous situations and rebuild their lives.
The Slaight Family Foundation gift represents an essential response that will prevent thousands of vulnerable people and families from falling through the cracks. With higher rates of femicide in Canada, this move for gender justice – for survival and safety – could not have come at a more critical time.
“When you think of how many new obstacles the pandemic has created for those living in abusive situations, it’s heartbreaking,” says Paulette Senior, President and CEO of the Canadian Women’s Foundation. “This remarkable investment by The Slaight Family Foundation will go a long way toward helping organizations provide life-saving services to women and gender-diverse people who remain underserved.”
Why are funds so urgently needed to address gender-based violence?
In the pandemic, risk of abuse such as intimate partner violence has spiked everywhere, including urban centres throughout Canada. Ramping up granting in urban settings to meet this elevated risk and address barriers to safety like lack of affordable housing and high costs of living is essential.
This grant will help fill gaps in funding for organizations in high-density neighbourhoods serving women, girls, and gender-diverse people who are racialized, refugees and newcomers, and/or living with disabilities.
How will these funds get to those who need them most?
Grants will be geared toward organizations that operate for and by marginalized communities. This includes programs run for Black, Indigenous, and racialized communities that are underserved by traditional institutions and rely on grassroots initiatives that can meet their unique needs.
We also aim to channel this funding toward emergent needs, such as those of recent refugees who need support to address gender-based violence trauma.
What gender-based violence services will these funds help to provide?
Ending gender-based violence requires a holistic range of services that focus on prevention, as well as those that support women, children, and gender-diverse people along their journeys to recovery.
The funds will go to organizations that offer programs including:
- emergency shelter services
- healthy relationship and consent education for vulnerable teens
- housing support
- programs that help survivors rebuild their lives
- sexual assault and exploitation crisis programs
- counselling for child witnesses of abuse