The British Columbia Association of Broadcasters (BCAB) announced its members have chosen the BC Society of Transition Houses as the 2018-2019 Humanitarian Award recipient.
“The Humanitarian Award is an opportunity for non-profit organizations to gain significant exposure for the important work they do at no cost to them for the airtime,” says BCAB past-president Kevin Gemmell. “The BC Society of Transition Houses will allow broadcasters to educate the public about the need for safe refuge for many women in British Columbia.”
In Canada, a woman is killed by a family member every 4 days.
In 2015 approximately 18,000 women and children accessed transition houses and safe houses to escape violence or abuse in British Columbia. A woman on average makes 7 attempts to leave an abusive relationship before permanently ending it.
Violence against women remains a significant and prevalent issue in Canada and around the world. Immigrant and refugee women experiencing violence face additional challenges in accessing support. These include language and cultural barriers, uncertain or precarious immigration status, isolation, fear of repercussions of disclosure from community or systems, limited or lack of access to finances and lack of knowledge about their rights and available services. These barriers can prevent women from accessing the help that is available.
The BC Society of Transition Houses’ province-wide multi-language “You are not alone” campaign reaches out to immigrant and refugee women experiencing violence, informing them about Transition Houses and how to access their support. Transition Houses and Safe Homes provide free shelter to women and their children experiencing violence in more than 100 communities across BC.
Joanne Baker, the Executive Director of BC Society of Transition Houses says: “Transition Houses and Safe Homes are so much more than just shelters. They are safe refuges that also provide all sorts of supports and referrals for women and children. We want immigrant and refugee women in particular to know that they are not alone and that safe shelters and services in BC welcome them”.
The generous support of the BCAB Humanitarian Award will allow BC Society of Transition Houses to reach out to immigrant and refugee women experiencing violence across the province. The multi-language “You are Not Alone” campaign will let immigrants and refugee women know that culturally safe and accessible services are available to support them and their children to leave violence and find safety and well-being.
The value of the airtime donated by BCAB member stations is in excess of $2.5 million over the course of the 12 months – July 2018 to June 2019. Gemmell says: “Every member station of the BCAB is asked to run the prepared PSA campaign a minimum of 10 times per week. Many stations offer well over the weekly amount over the course of the 52 week campaign.”
“The Humanitarian Award allows broadcasters to collectively give back on an annual and ongoing basis,” adds Gemmell. “It’s quite simply our duty and honour to offer this kind of program to deserving provincial organizations.”
This year’s campaign will begin in July and continue running on member stations throughout the province for one full year.
BCAB Humanitarian Award nominations are open year round. The recipient of the Humanitarian Award is chosen in March of each year and awarded at the BCAB Conference and Awards Gala in May. Information on the criteria and process can be found at www.bcab.ca/awards/humanitarian.