Rogers expands phone program to women’s shelters and transition houses in Atlantic Canada
By Blue Line Staff
By Blue Line Staff
May 18, 2021 – Rogers is offering phones and plans to 30 shelters and transition houses across the Atlantic region to help women and their children, including Indigenous women, escape violence and abuse.
The company announced it has expanded its phone and plan program to connect more Atlantic Canadian women and their children with digital lifelines and support to escape violence and abuse. Rogers has increased its support from last year, by donating phones and plans to 30 women’s shelters and transition houses in Rogers wireless coverage areas in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador during this third wave of the pandemic. As the severity and frequency of domestic violence and demand for safe shelter space continues to rise following initial pandemic lockdowns a year ago, Rogers is expanding its efforts to drive awareness and safe connectivity to support the most vulnerable.
“To women leaving abusive relationships, these phones represent connection. A connection to family and friends they may have been cut off from, a chance to call a potential landlord, an opportunity to reconnect with the shelter they have left, a desperate call to the police, or a reconnection to their own goals and dreams,” said Debrah Westerburg, NB South Central Transition House and Second Stage Coalition. “These connections are lost in a controlling and abusive relationship. If you’ve been controlled and likely not able to reach out for help and support, having a phone after you leave can represent growth towards the life you need to be healthy.”
Last spring, at the start of the pandemic, Rogers launched a national program with Women’s Shelters Canada to provide hundreds of phones and plans to more than one hundred shelters and transition houses, including those across Atlantic Canada, in addition to using the reach of its platforms and channels to help increase awareness of the domestic violence crisis. With growing waitlists for women’s shelters and transition houses, frontline crisis workers say these devices will continue to save women’s lives by keeping women safely connected to critical resources, particularly during lockdowns. The phone donation program is provided in collaboration with Motorola and LG.
The announcement includes support for women’s shelters in Atlantic communities like Amherst, Antigonish, Bathurst, Bridgewater, Campbellton, Charlottetown, Colchester, Edmundston, Fredericton, Halifax, Kings, Hants West, Miramichi, Moncton, Sainte-Anne-de-Kent, Saint John, Shediac, St. John’s, St. Stephen, Sydney, Truro, Woodstock and Yarmouth.
As part of its efforts to ensure access to connectivity, Rogers also recently announced an expansion of its low-cost high-speed internet program Connected for Success to hundreds of thousands of Canadians in its Internet coverage area in New Brunswick and Newfoundland. Those receiving income or disability support, the maximum childcare benefit, residents of RGI housing or seniors receiving the Guaranteed Income Supplement are eligible for the program.
Women experiencing abuse are encouraged to visit to connect with the nearest shelter or transition house that can offer safety, hope and support.