History

Bridges for Women was established in Victoria in 1988 as an employment training program for women with a history of trauma and abuse. It operated with the help of an Advisory Committee until 1993 when it was officially established as a non-profit society under the British Columbia Society Act.

Over the years Bridges has attracted a number of News Articles written by Victoria Times Colonist, Research & Development Papers written by inspired individuals and university PhD associates, and over the years has published many Newsletters.

Bridges is a vision realized, a place that is still here today in spite of many challenges, a concept with a future. We often encounter graduates of Bridges whose lives have been changed by Bridges and who credit Bridges for supporting them to make positive changes in their lives.

The women who work at Bridges, serve on Board of Directors of the Bridges for Women Society and are its members, all play a vital role in making sure that the heart of Bridges keeps on beating.This community of women and other supporters is essential so that Bridges continues to serve women long into the future. They should be wise, strong, compassionate, visionary people who work together continually to re-vision Bridges as a place where women who have survived abuse can find freedom and fulfillment.

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The name Bridges for Women was sponsored by the following poem by Marge Piercey

Bridging

Being together is knowing
Even if what we know
is that we cannot really be together
caught in the teeth of the machinery
of the wrong moments of our lives.
A clear umbilicus
goes out invisibly between,
thread we spin fluid and finer than hair
but strong enough to hang a bridge on.
That bridge will be there
a blacklight rainbow arching out of your skull
whenever you need
whenever you can open your eyes and want
to walk upon it.
Nobody can live on a bridge
or plant potatoes
but it is fine for comings and goings.
meetings,  partings and long views
and a real connection to someplace else
where you may
in the crazy weathers of struggle
now and again want to be.

Marge Piercey