Everyone has the right to live without fear and violence

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Ghezal Durrani, former resident of YWCA’s Monroe House, joins Premier John Horgan in announcing that more women and children fleeing violence will have a safe and secure place to go, as the Government of British Columbia builds 1,500 new supportive homes throughout the province.

Victoria: Everyone deserves a safe place to live. But for too many women and children in B.C., home is an unsafe place. To provide safe places to stay for women and children fleeing violence, our government is building 280 new homes. This is the first major investment in transition housing in more than two decades.

The old government’s failure to make significant  investments in housing for women and children fleeing violence has left a big gap in the supports and services people need. Our government is taking action to reverse years of neglect and provide ongoing funding for the services women and children fleeing violence depend on, including housing, counselling, and crisis supports.

This week, our government took the first big step towards filling this gap, with investments in 12 communities, in every part of the province. These 12 new projects will supply more than 280 homes for women and children leaving violence and abuse. This is the first stage of our plan to build 1,500 transition, second-stage, and affordable housing spaces for women and children fleeing violence over the next 10 years.

It takes a lot of strength for someone experiencing domestic violence to leave an abusive relationship.  Ghezal Durrani, a survivor of 13 years of domestic abuse and former resident of YWCA’s Monroe House joined us to announce the  Building BC: Women’s Transition Housing Fund. She said her biggest fear was leaving her relationship and having no place to go. “I have two young children, and I don’t have a job. I don’t have an education. Where am I going to go? How am I going to survive?”, she was forced to ask herself. Today, Ghezal is a third-year criminology student, and a Community Development Coordinator with the YWCA.

For many people, knowing that they have a safe place to stay is the difference between deciding to flee or return to an abusive home. By building new safe, transition, and second-stage homes, women and children will get the safety and support they need to live free of fear and violence. These homes can also help women and children recover from the effects of abuse, and give families a chance to build happier, healthier lives.

In a province that puts people first, we need to do everything we can to prevent and address gender-based violence. We need to make sure women and children can find safety when they need it most. And we need to keep working together to build a B.C. where each person is treated with dignity and respect, and where everyone lives without fear and violence.