February 07, 2015 - 5:00 AM
SURREY, B.C. - Premier Christy Clark says her government is diverting money from "the bad guys" to their victims as the province upgrades its strategy towards ending violence against women.
The province will apportion $3 million in civil forfeiture funds this year to pay for a new Domestic Violence Unit in Surrey, B.C., local support services and an awareness campaign.
The government says more than 12,300 instances of intimate-partner violence were reported to police in 2013, while 113 woman died as a result of domestic violence in the past decade.
The new "Violence Free B.C." strategy will also boost prevention programs in schools, develop a provincial sexual assault policy and improve culturally-appropriate job programs for aboriginal women who are rebuilding their lives after experiencing violence.
Clark says the province is also committed to fulfilling recommendations from the Missing Women's Inquiry, although she said she didn't want to criticize the RCMP for reducing the number of officers on an investigative task force.
Documents revealed earlier this week that the RCMP cut six officers from its Highway of Tears investigation after warning government that provincial cuts would hinder the investigation, but Clark countered by saying the province actually boosted the RCMP budget last year by $5 million.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2015