02/11/2015 02:10 EST | Updated 04/13/2015 05:59 EDT

Translations and aids on the docket for multicultural victims of crime in B.C.

VANCOUVER - The federal government is extending a hand to victims of crime in B.C. that may have had difficulty accessing support because of language or other cultural barriers.

Justice Minister Peter MacKay announced half-a-million dollars in funding will go towards initiatives like translating the province's victim impact statement into eight new languages.

The money will also be used to increase the number of testimonial aids for people hurt by crime, and to raise awareness among specific multicultural groups of a telephone hotline for people injured by domestic violence.

MacKay says helping victims is one of the Conservative government's highest priorities and that making resources available is intended as a more compassionate approach to those in need.

He added that human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children remains a real, serious issue in B.C., even as violent crime rates are in some cases on the decline across Canada.

B.C.'s ministry of justice will manage the funding, which will also go towards delivering community workshops for preventing human trafficking and to exploring new ways of responding to violence against women and children.