Rogers has announced partnerships with women’s shelters in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, providing connectivity to support our most vulnerable citizens during this global health crisis.
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed urgent needs among Canada’s at-risk communities, including women and children who may be facing the reality of being at home with an abusive family member.
“At Rogers, we are committed to finding ways to help provide an essential digital lifeline and critical supports for Atlantic Canadians who need it the most, including women who experience domestic violence,” said Matt MacLellan, President of the Atlantic Region, Rogers Communications. “Whether calling emergency services, accessing support, or staying in touch with loved ones, the donations are aimed at helping vulnerable women with their immediate and crisis needs.”
Rogers is providing complimentary devices along with six months free voice and data plans to women’s shelters including Crossroads for Women in Moncton, Prince Edward Island Rape and Sexual Assault Centre and Anderson House in Charlottetown, Bryony House in Halifax, Iris Kirby House in St. John’s, Chief Mary Bernard Memorial Shelter on Lennox Island, P.E.I., and Beausejour Family Crisis Resource Centre in Shediac.
“Many abusers control the phone at home as a source of power and prevent their spouse from using it unless in the room with them,” said Michelle Greene, Executive Director, Iris Kirby House. “Sometimes partners have tracking devices on the phones so a woman could be trapped and unable to escape safely. These phones from Rogers provide a lifeline, allowing them to discreetly reach out for help.”
“We have clients who live in poverty, clients with bad credit, or clients whose abusive partner broke their phone and they have no way to get a new one,” said Danya O’Malley, PEI Family Violence Prevention Services Inc. “We know a feature of abuse is isolation, and it is not surprising that someone might have their only means of reaching out taken away. To be able to provide someone with the means of reaching our crisis line or our outreach workers, this can mean the difference between being able to or not able to cope. We are so appreciative of this generous donation.”
“When the storm of domestic violence has torn away from your home and everything you completely depend on, you’re completely disconnected from all support and are utterly vulnerable,” says Chantal Poirier, Interim Executive Director at Crossroads for Women in Moncton. “In this time of international crisis, the sudden social isolation and stress has created a surge in violence in the home, so for Rogers to step up and ensure that these women, and the children that depend on them, are provided with a crucial connection to the online world means more than you could possibly imagine.”
If you are a woman living in an abusive home, or you know someone who is, you can call your local shelter’s 24/7 crisis line for advice and support. Find your local shelter and its crisis line on www.sheltersafe.ca.
Rogers is also partnering with the local Halifax chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters, providing phones with six months of free service to ensure the families and “Littles” who rely on this critical connection get the digital tools and service they need. Fido is providing local Halifax chapter of Pflag Canada with tablets and free wireless data to enable virtual peer-to-peer support meetings in support of the LGBTQ2S community.
A new awareness video about Rogers partnership with Women’s Shelters Canada will be shown across Rogers Sports & Media properties reaching millions of Canadians.