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“A digital lifeline to safety” – helping save the lives of women and children in crisis

April 26, 2021

Articles

If you are a woman experiencing abuse, please visit sheltersafe.ca to connect with the nearest shelter or transition house that can offer safety, hope and support

On Highway 16, along what is known as the Highway of Tears, is Amber House. It’s a safe place for women and children escaping violence in Prince George, British Columbia, and it’s where they begin to plan for their future.  Bally Basi, the Community, Social and Justice Programs Manager for the Prince George and District Elizabeth Fry Society, explains that a vital part of the safety plan for these women is being able to safely connect to emergency support.


Amber House is one of more than 325 women’s shelters and transition houses in communities across Canada that Rogers is supporting by donating thousands phones and plans, offering women and their children a digital lifeline to safety.  With growing waitlists for women’s shelters and transition houses, frontline crisis workers like Bally say these devices will save lives by keeping women safely connected to critical resources, particularly during lockdowns.  

Access to devices, plans, and network coverage is vitally important, now more than ever. Rogers recently announced it is expanding wireless network coverage in British Columbia, including 5G, to close gaps along two key corridors, including Highway 14 and Highway 16, known as the Highway of Tears.  For decades, this highway has been the tragic location of many missing and murdered women, particularly Indigenous women, who were unable to call for help due to coverage gaps.  By the time construction of these new towers is complete along Highway 16 late next year, the project will provide more than 250 km of cellular highway coverage between Prince George and Prince Rupert, improving safety for everyone. 

We are also expanding wireless network coverage in Eastern Ontario along 11,000 km of major highways. By 2025 when construction of new towers is complete, the project will improve safety for everyone in the region’s 113 municipalities and Indigenous communities, including women whose lives may depend on being able to make an emergency call.