Connectivity a critical digital lifeline for women in Greater Toronto experiencing domestic abuse during COVID-19
Rogers providing phones with free voice and data plans to help women in crisis, in partnership with women’s shelters across the Greater Toronto Area
TORONTO, Ontario, June 17, 2020 – Rogers Communications today announced partnerships with women’s shelters in Toronto, providing connectivity to support vulnerable Torontonians 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.
“It’s unfathomable to imagine the dual crises of domestic violence and physical isolation brought on by COVID-19. Yet, tragically, rates of violence are up as much as 20-30% right now,” said Sevaun Palvetzian, Chief Communications Officer, Rogers Communications. “For vulnerable women and children escaping abuse, phones and connectivity provide an essential digital lifeline. We’re proud that our Rogers team can help enable these critical connections when home isn’t a safe place to be.”
Rogers is providing complimentary devices along with six months free voice and data plans to women’s shelters across the city including North York Women’s Shelter, Interval House, Nisa Mississauga Homes, Anduhyaun inc and the Redwood Shelter.
“Technology may be one of the ways that women are controlled. The person that a woman is fleeing may be tech savvy and know how to get around some of the safety barriers that we put in place on the devices that women bring to The Redwood,” says Akilah Downey, The Redwood shelter. “Providing women living at The Redwood with a new phone that is unattached to any previous digital information enables them to make essential trips to and from the shelter, like medical appointments.”
“We are so grateful for the wonderful opportunity that has been provided to Interval House through Rogers,” said Paula Del Cid, Residential Program Manager, Interval House. “By providing our agency with cell phones, they have extended a lifeline during this very difficult time. The phones will provide access to support services and benefits and will provide a direct sense of connection during a time of physical distancing. By partnering with Rogers, together we are able to remove barriers and ensure our clients have access to the proper tools needed for their safety and well being.”
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 local Toronto chapters 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 Toronto chapters 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. To learn more about all the ways Rogers is helping to support Canadians through this critical time, please visit here.
Rogers is a proud Canadian company dedicated to making more possible for Canadians each and every day. Our founder, Ted Rogers, purchased his first radio station, CHFI, in 1960. We have grown to become a leading technology and media company that strives to provide the very best in wireless, residential, sports, and media to Canadians and Canadian businesses. Our shares are publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: RCI.A and RCI.B) and on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: RCI). If you want to find out more about us, visit about.rogers.com.
For further information:
Rogers Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org, 1-844-226-1338