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After losing $34,312 CAD in annual municipal funding, Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter (VRR) say they have no plans to change or scale back their services or public education. The organization will rely on donations to make up for their budget shortfall.

On February 26, Vancouver City Council unanimously voted to strip grant funding from VRR. The annual grant from the city only represented a small portion of VRR’s budget and was allocated to public education and outreach.

A year ago, the council agreed to maintain funding for 2019, but threatened to rescind the grant should the organization refuse to change its policy (protected by law) and allow males who self-identify as women to access their rape crisis services and shelter. VRR refused to buckle, instead maintaining a commitment to women’s safety and liberation via their sex-segregated services. The council claimed that VRR’s female-only policy violates their grant eligibility criteria, which protects “gender identities,” but not “sex,” as characteristics requiring accommodation.

In an email, Karla Gjini, a VRR collective member, said the organization will “work hard” to make up for their new shortfall. “While we’re feeling disappointed by the decision, we’re also so, so encouraged and comforted by those who spoke out and wrote letters in support of our work, and in support of women,” she told me.”

 

The VRR will not bend the knee to gender delusional men and will keep the female only safe space open.

“In the meantime, VRR plans to host their annual fundraiser walk-a-thon on June 7. “It’s a great community event with live music and a free picnic, and anyone can make a team and ask for pledges. We’re hoping for a great, big turnout to help make up some of the money,” said Gjini.

Many prominent feminists and allies have publicly offered support for VRR. Julie Bindel, UK journalist and feminist, announced plans for a pop-up restaurant in London to raise funds. Donations to VRR can also be made online.

Vancouver Rape Relief and Shelter will surely (and maddeningly) face continued backlash from trans activists determined to infiltrate or destroy women-only spaces. The women of VRR, however, are clearly up to the task.”

Help women out, donate now.

 

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