(Vancouver Rape Relief photo)

Funding for B.C. rape crisis centre cut over transgender policy

Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter will not receive further city funding unless rules change

Canada’s oldest rape crisis centre has been stripped of its funding after staff refused to accept transgender women into their shelter and programs.

City councillors voted March 14 to give grant money to the Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter this year, but will terminate any future funding until its policy changes.

During that meeting, staff from the crisis centre told council, as well as transgender activists including Morgane Oger, that they are committed to ensuring the safety of anyone who calls their crisis line, including transgender people, but that the fight for women’s liberation can only be done “in a woman-only space, with other women, who have the shared experience of being born without a choice to the oppressed class of women.”

Some councillors, including Christine Boyle, argued that both trans women and sex workers deserve access to the centre’s services.

In a news release following the vote, shelter staff called the decision discriminatory.

“Since 1973, our group has responded to close to 46,000 women seeking our support in their escape from male violence,” the release reads. “Since we opened our transition house in 1981, we have housed over 3,000 women and over 2,600 children.”

This isn’t the first time the shelter has been confronted for its policy.

In 1995, Kimberley Nixon launched a human rights complaint after she was denied volunteer training because she was transgender. The B.C. Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the shelter, following several years in court.

The shelter’s services are only available to “born females” who have experienced male violence. The funding from the city has been used over the past decade for education and outreach.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Rural dividend grants awarded in Kootenay West

Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy made the grant announcements in Trail on Thursday

Rossland skiier places third at U19 Canadian Ski Cross

Rossland’s Sage Stefani finished out a successful season.

Warfield elementary school celebrating 70 years

Webster Elementary School officially opened April 23, 1949; open house and events planned next week

Exhausted Rossland skateboard volunteers pass torch to city council

Organization asks council to take over project

Rossland council split on arena fix

Rossland council approves band-aid for arena, while its future is debated

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Lawsuit eyed over union-only raise for B.C. community care workers

‘Low-wage redress’ leaves 17,000 employees out, employers say

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

Foreign national arrested in connection to thefts at YVR

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Police pursue pesky porker on Vancouver Island

‘This was allegedly not the pig’s first escape’

Westjet tries again to dismiss proposed class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination

Former flight attendant claims airline broke contractual promise to create harassment-free workplace

Man airlifted to hospital after apparent hunting incident in East Kootenay

The man was in stable condition when he was flown out of Fairmont Hot Springs to a Calgary hospital

Police probe eight fires set at B.C. elementary school

Nanaimo RCMP say fires appear to have been set intentionally

Most Read