Bridges for Women is a non-profit organization that supports women recovering from violence and trauma, and helps them transition into careers.
Women attend a six-month program and learn empowering skills such as assertiveness, setting boundaries, and reaching career goals.
Interim executive director, Patricia Rawson, explains that Bridges for Women offers programs that deliver trauma-informed support for women who are in “the third stage.”
“When a person has experienced violence they might need to leave a situation, so that’s the ‘first stage,’ and then the ‘second stage’ is more stability,” says Lawson. “Then the ‘third stage’ is developing some tools and education and support so that they can move into the workforce.”
Founded in 1988, Bridges for Women just received a grant from the Victoria Foundation for its Indigenous Bridging Program. Lydia Jim is what Bridges refers to as a Community Connector, who brought the Indigenous Bridging Program to Tsartlip First Nation.
“We walk in two different worlds, one as an Indigenous person, and one as a person that’s living in this society,” says Lydia. “Most times we need more support to get the extra tools that we need in today’s society. The mental health piece, for everybody, is important.”
Learn more about Bridges for Women in this episode of Vital People with Veronica Cooper.