01/17/2018 11:28 EST | Updated 01/19/2018 15:44 EST

Liberals devote $20M to gender-based violence services in vulnerable communities

OTTAWA — The Liberal government is devoting $20 million to develop projects aimed at preventing gender-based violence in vulnerable communities that have a shortage of support for victims and their families.

Status of Women Canada says the money will go to developing services for survivors in Indigenous, LGBTQ and immigrant populations, as well as seniors, people living with disabilities, minority language communities and those in remote, rural and northern areas of Canada.

The program is aimed at helping smaller, grassroots organizations that might not yet have the ability to tackle a major project.

Organizations have until March 1 to pitch a high-level concept to the government agency, which could then provide up to $30,000 to help the group develop a full proposal.

If that proposal is chosen, Status of Women could give the organization up to $1 million in project funding for up to five years.

The agency says the two-step process cuts down on the amount of paperwork required, giving smaller organizations a greater chance at success.