To help support women and children experiencing domestic and family violence, Rio Tinto is donating $360,000 to 12 women’s shelters and local organizations across Canada, two of which are in northern B.C.
The contribution will allow these organizations to continue providing a variety of support services to women and their families, including safe shelters, education and training, counselling, workshops and activities for kids.
The organizations are located in communities where Rio Tinto operates across British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, the Northwest Territories and Quebec, and five of the groups are focussed on working with Indigenous women and their children.
“On this International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, we are showing our support for women experiencing domestic and family abuse and for the dedicated professionals who help protect and empower them,” said Rio Tinto country head for Canada Alf Barrios said. “Now more than ever, we must come together to end gender-based violence and make our communities safer for all.”
Support for two local BC organizations
In British Columbia, the Burns Lake Elizabeth Fry Society and Tamitik Status of Women in Kitimat will each receive $25,000 from Rio Tinto.
The Elizabeth Fry Society is a feminist, community-based organization that supports women and their children who have experienced violence, abuse, marginalization or criminalization. They provide crisis support, advocacy, education, and counselling to help create community awareness and promote the safety and well being to those at risk of harm.
Manager of Women’s Services for the for the Burns Lake Elizabeth Fry Society, Tamara Bjorgan, said, “We are very excited to be the recipient of this generous donation from Rio Tinto. This financial support gives us the ability to expand our service area and reach folks who are marginalized, living in isolation, and have little to no services available to them. As an organization serving women, we’re grateful to have the support of the community and businesses to help move the dial on prevention of gender based violence as it’s an issue that impacts us all.”
Tamitik Status of Women began in the 1970s as a grass-roots organization of women who shared their experiences and supported each other when there were very little established services to help women who found themselves in abusive or violent situations. Today, Tamitik is an active agency that provides programs and services for individuals and families focused on the intervention and prevention of violence against women, youth, and children, as well as poverty issues in the Kitimat area.