New Funding for WEAVE Program to help women exit the sex trade

Published On May 22nd 2019

On May 22nd, $3.75 million over five years was announced to support the Women Exiting Abuse, Violence and Exploitation (WEAVE) program. The project, which began in 2016, will support up to 158 women considering leaving the sex-trade.

Abbotsford Community Services (ACS) is a proud partner in the WEAVE program along with SARA for Women under the leadership of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Greater Vancouver. Our main role is providing counselling to women while our partners provide safe housing, outreach support, and employment alternatives.

Jati Sidhu, Member of Parliament for Mission – Matsqui – Fraser Canyon, made the announcement at a press conference on behalf of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. The funding comes from the Crime Prevention Action Fund.

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Sidhu said “We are proud to support programming that will make a real difference in the lives of vulnerable women facing sexual exploitation in this region. Our government is committed to keeping our communities and citizens safe through community-led programs that are proven to reduce harm and crime in Abbotsford and the Fraser Valley as a whole.”

Our executive director, Rod Santiago emceed the event and shared that “WEAVE continues to be a much needed addition to the support network for the most at risk vulnerable women in Abbotsford. The women supported by this program have experienced significant violence and trauma, often finding themselves trapped in the sex trade to survive. WEAVE provides hope and empowerment when the women make the decision to embrace a healthier life and are ready to make positive changes for themselves and their children.”

Shawn Bayes, the Executive Director of the Elizabeth Fry Society thanked the government for their support. “Without specialized support, exiting a life of sexual exploitation can be nearly impossible for vulnerable women. Programs like WEAVE can be life-changing, both for women and for their children. By funding WEAVE, the Government of Canada is helping truly marginalized women build stronger, brighter futures.”