May is Sexual Violence Awareness Month, a month to raise awareness, challenge attitudes and promote a culture of consent. Nearly half of Albertans – 1.8 million – have experienced some form of sexual violence in their lifetime, a number which is too high. Sexual assault is traumatizing and can have long-lasting impacts on the health and relationships of victims.

Survivors of sexual violence should be able to access the help and services they need, when they need them which is why Alberta’s government is proud to dedicate an additional $3 million in 2024-25 to support the critical role of sexual assault centres. This brings the annual investment in 15 sexual assault centres across the province to nearly $17 million. Centres will also receive another $3 million in 2025-26, and $4 million in 2026-27 to ensure survivors have a safe place to turn, and every opportunity to heal.

“Too many Albertans are faced with the traumatic impacts of sexual violence. That’s why it is so important to strengthen sexual assault centres and their ability to support and empower survivors, no matter where they are on their healing journey.”

Searle Turton, Minister of Children and Family Services

Survivors of all ages and genders can turn to sexual assault centres across the province. Through this investment, more survivors will get access to safety and educational supports, counselling, and crisis intervention, no matter where they are. Many centres also provide police and court support for those who choose to report what happened to them.

Alberta’s government will work closely with sexual assault centres and the Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services to ensure funding can address urgent needs, and that resources are distributed appropriately. This includes ongoing engagement and roundtables to be held in the upcoming weeks.

“We are pleased to see the Government of Alberta’s commitment to increase funding for sexual assault centres. This important investment will help our members respond to the increasingly complex needs of individuals, families and communities impacted by sexual violence.”

Corinne Ofstie, co-chief executive officer, Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services

Addressing and preventing gender-based violence

Last year, Alberta successfully negotiated a bilateral funding agreement for $54 million over four years to develop a made-in-Alberta strategy to end gender-based violence and support survivors. This strategy is being informed by engagements with Indigenous communities, community groups and service providers across the province.

In year one of the agreement, Children and Family Services is receiving $2.55 million to reinforce existing work already underway across the province to support survivors and identify new gender-based violence prevention opportunities, including awareness campaigns and education initiatives, as well as amplifying best practices and Indigenous-led services.

“Everyone deserves to live a life free from violence. That is why Alberta’s government is working to create a made-in-Alberta, 10-year action plan that is survivor centric, engages men and boys, addresses the root causes of gender-based violence and addresses critical gaps in already established services.”

Tanya Fir, Minister of Arts, Culture and Status of Women

Alberta also provides $540,200 for Rural Sexual Assault Support Grants, which provide supports to survivors in rural and remote communities, as well as $1.9 million for counselling services. Alberta’s One Line for Sexual Violence is another supported initiative where those who have experienced any form of sexual violence can call 1-866-403-8000 to access crisis support and be connected to relevant resources in their communities.

Budget 2024 is a responsible plan to strengthen health care and education, build safe and supportive communities, manage the province’s resources wisely and promote job creation to continue to build Alberta’s competitive advantage.

Quick facts

  • Help-seeking on Alberta’s One Line for Sexual Violence increased by 41 per cent in 2021, 67 per cent in 2022 and 65 per cent in 2023.
  • Alberta also provides nearly $3.4 million every year to eight child advocacy centres, which support vulnerable children and youth who have experienced all forms of abuse, including sexual violence.

Related information

Related news