About Bridges for Women
Bridges for Women Society provides trauma-informed counselling and healing-focused pre-employment programs to self-identified women, non-binary people, and two-spirit people who identify with the women’s community. We support clients to identify and overcome the effects of trauma and work towards personal and professional goals.
Bridges has been providing life-changing employment and healing programs to women overcoming the effects of trauma and abuse since 1988. We strive to create an environment where women feel safe to take on the challenge of changing their lives, realizing their dreams and taking their rightful place in society.
Learn more about the founding of Bridges
Who We Serve
We serve various communities on Vancouver Island, through both in-person and online programs and services.
We offer groups and counseling for individuals living in southern Vancouver Island. We offer online programs to women living on northern Vancouver Island through our partnership with the North Island Employment Foundations Society.
Our services are open to all women (transgender and cisgender), non-binary, and two-spirit people who identify as a part of the women’s community and who have been impacted by violence or trauma at any time in their lives. We believe and support diverse women who are looking for a life change.
We acknowledge with respect that we live and conduct this work in the traditional territories of the Ləkʷəŋən peoples, including the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations. Bridges for Women also offers programs and services in the territories of the W̱SÁNEĆ (BOḰEĆEN/Pauquachin, W̱JOȽEȽP/Tsartlip, SȾÁUTW/Tsawout, and WSIḴEM/Tseycum Nations), MALAXEt/Malahat (Mill Bay), Pacheedaht (Port Renfrew), Scia’new (Beecher Bay), and T’Sou-ke (Sooke) peoples. We also deliver programs throughout B.C. and encourage people to learn more about the traditional territories where they are located.
Bridges is honoured to work with the Indigenous people of these lands as well as with members of the Metis Nation, Inuit women and Indigenous women who hail from other parts of the world.
Bridges is a feminist, strength-based, gutsy, trauma-informed community agency. Our healing, education and employment programs inspire a diversity of women impacted by trauma, violence, abuse or neglect to reclaim their lives and build economic security.
By drawing on our extensive knowledge of the impacts of trauma on employability, Bridges provides expertise and resources to a diverse range of individuals, organizations and allies in order to break the cycles of violence, poverty and isolation faced by the people we serve.
Vision & Values
Women affected by trauma, violence, abuse or neglect have the choice and opportunity to break free from the cycles of violence, poverty and isolation, and to achieve safety, health and personal control in their lives.
- Respecting the rights, dignity and worth of each woman, her boundaries, cultural context and diverse belief systems
- Honouring the individual learning and healing process and cultivating nonjudgmental environments
- Committing to trauma-informed, anti-oppressive practice and non-violent organizational culture
- Breaking the silence and educating on trauma, violence, abuse and neglect
- Working to ensure our workplace reflects the diversity of our clients
- Honouring our feminist roots in our commitment to cooperation, collaboration and building consensus
- Recognizing, valuing and normalizing women’s experience of surviving trauma
- Fostering community connections to support knowledge-sharing, collaboration and advocacy
- Recognizing and valuing women’s work, paid and unpaid, women’s equality, and contribution to the economy
- Acknowledging and embracing change as a constant
- Practicing mindfulness and critical curiosity
As part of our 2019-2024 Strategic Plan, Bridges adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) as a reconciliation framework. We commit to applying its principles, norms and standards to corporate policy and core operational activities involving Indigenous peoples and their land and resources. As part of this commitment, Bridges will provide education and training for all staff on the history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, UNDRIP, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law and Aboriginal-Crown relations. We will also pursue training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights and anti-racism.