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Digital Lifelines for Prairie Women in Crisis: Rogers Expands Phone Program to Women’s Shelters and Transition Houses Across Manitoba and Saskatchewan

May 18, 2021

News Releases

Phones and plans to 25 shelters and transition houses across the region to help women and their children, including Indigenous women, escape violence and abuse

Rogers enabling safe, critical connectivity for women in crisis as shelters see a spike in frequency and severity of violence during the pandemic

WINNIPEG, May 18, 2021 – Rogers Communications today announced it has expanded its phone and plan program to connect more Prairie 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 25 women’s shelters and transition houses in Rogers wireless coverage areas in Manitoba and Saskatchewan 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.

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 in the Prairies, 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. 

Today’s announcement includes support for women’s shelters in communities like Regina, Saskatoon, Prince Albert, Stanley, Swan River, Portage la Prairie, Thompson, Flin Flon, Brandon, Winnipeg, The Pas, Steinbach, North Eastman Region, Selkirk & Eastman, and Dauphin.

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 Ontario, 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.  The Rogers team is excited about future plans in Western Canada, including the opportunity to expand Connected for Success nationally to all communities where the company offers Internet service. 

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.

Quotes:

“At Rogers, we are committed to helping the most vulnerable stay connected to critical resources, including Prairie women in crisis who may not be able to safely access support due the pandemic and lockdowns.  By providing phones and plans, and providing a platform to amplify voices of those on the frontlines of the domestic violence crisis, we are proud to help those most in need.”

  • Larry Goerzen, President of Prairies Region, Rogers

“MAWS and Manitoba shelters thanks Rogers for this generous and much-needed program. COVID-19 has highlighted that staying at home may not be the safest option for all, and that women, youth and children across Canada are facing an ongoing, exacerbated ‘shadow pandemic’ of gender-based violence. At this time, secure, affordable digital connectivity can provide Manitobans affected by abuse with a safety measure, as well as a sense of independence, especially in cases where they and their communications are being monitored and controlled by their abusers. It is more important than ever that those experiencing violence have barrier-free access to safe, affordable infrastructure – including cell phones and data plans – that will help them stay connected to loved ones, shelter teams, supportive services and emergency resources.”

  • Deena Brock, Manitoba Association of Women’s Shelters

“We are grateful to Rogers Communications for supporting survivors of violence through the provision of cell phones to domestic violence shelters in Saskatchewan. Cell phones can be a literal lifeline for someone fleeing a violent situation. In addition to allowing a survivor the means to call 911 in an emergency, cell phones also allow them to remain in contact with family and friends, to look for new housing, to apply for jobs, and connect with needed services such as medical, legal or counseling appointments.”

  • Jo-Anne Dusel, Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan

“Our government is committed to protecting victims of family and intimate partner violence and ensuring support and shelters are still available during these challenging times, but we also know that not everyone has the technology to make an urgent phone call. We commend Rogers for this important contribution to addressing barriers and enhancing safety for Manitobans, especially those most vulnerable.”

  • The Honourable Cathy Cox, Minister of Sport, Culture and Heritage and Minister Responsible for Status of Women, Government of Manitoba

“As we enter a third wave of the pandemic, many Indigenous women living in remote communities are facing increased challenges in escaping violence and abuse. Providing these women with a new phone when they arrive at our shelters will prove to be a valuable tool in keeping them safely connected to family and friends, as well as vital services. Rogers’ expanded ‘digital lifeline’ program and planned network expansion are sure to benefit many Indigenous women and children seeking refuge in our shelters.”

  • Sheila Swasson, President, National Aboriginal Circle Against Family Violence

About Rogers
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 more information:
Rogers Communications, media@rci.rogers.com, 1-844-226-1338