Cpl. Laurie Rock of the Penticton RCMP with other participants at the SOWINS Walk to End Abuse Sunday. (Mark Brett - Western News)

Break the silence. Stop the violence – Okanagan women’s group

The SOWINS Walk to End Abuse took place Sunday

Breaking the silence to stop the violence was the message at the start of the sixth annual South Okanagan Women in Need Society (SOWINS) Walk to End Abuse Sunday.

Gathered at Rotary Park on Okanagan Lake, the more than 100 participants and spectators heard from several speakers about the importance of ending the violence and abuse of women and children.

Among those who spoke was RCMP Staff Sgt. Bob Vatamaniuck who was in attendance with Cpl. Laurie Rock dressed in her red serge.

“The RCMP, we strive to keep our community safe, we work with our community partners but it’s so important for someone to feel safe in their own home and if you’re a victim of abuse, a victim of violence it’s so important to come to the RCMP,” said Vatamaniuck. “SOWINS does such a great job working with us and making sure you’re looked after but there is still a lot of work to be done.”

Mayor John Vassilaki also volunteered his time for the event and also spoke about the importance of SOWINS.

“I hope you all take the walk and dig deep into your pockets and give some money to SOWINS so they can continue the fantastic work they do day after day dealing with those folks who need their help so badly,” he said. “It’s very, very, very important to, if you see abuse or violence, please report it .

“In this manner we can save lives. You don’t want to see women being abused and especially little children, so please if you see something happening please report it so we can stop it and help ladies and their children to live a much much better life.”

READ MORE: Penticton Boston Pizza steps up commitment to SOWINS Walk to End Abuse

Executive director Debbie Scarborough of SOWINS added the fundraising walk was also to raise awareness and remember the people who are still walking the journey, living with abuse.

“We do hear back on a fairly regular basis, ‘Debbie, what can I do if I can’t donate, if I can’t work in the field?’ Well, it’s really important that we all know that if we don’t commit an act of abuse or violence that’s the best way to help,” she said.

READ MORE: South Okanagan Women In Need Society sees growing need for services

“I’m hoping that everyone here commits to not committing an act of violence and not condoning an act of violence and certainly listening to those who are living it. We’re going to be a much better community and hopefully a much better world at the end of the day.”



Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Send Mark Brett an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Staff Sgt. Bob Vatamaniuck of the Penticton RCMP talked about the importance of being safe in your own home at the SOWINS walk. (Mark Brett - Western News)

Cpl. Laurie Rock with executive director Debbie Scarborough of SOWINS. (Mark Brett - Western News)

Cpl. Laurie Rock of the Penticton RCMP detachment took part in the annual SOWINS Walk to End Abuse Sunday. (Mark Brett - Western News)

Just Posted

Influx of tourists helping to nurse Penticton’s economy back to health

The city has seen visitors multiply tenfold in recent weeks

Two vehicle crash on Highway 97 in Penticton

The crash happened before 3:30 p.m. in front of the Lakeside Inn and Suites

Pooch abandoned at Penticton doggy daycare suffered from oral disease

A fundraiser for Okie held by the BC SPCA surpassed its goal of $1,700

Keremeos Volunteer Fire Department receives $25k grant

Money used on a truck with low volume, high pressure water pump to fight wildfires

Ryga Arts Festival to include virtual and in-person events

Arts festival in Summerland will run from Aug. 15 to 23

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

COVID-19 cases identified in Kelowna, after public gatherings

Those who were downtown or at the waterfront from June 25 to July 6 maybe have been exposed to COVID-19.

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Summerland Blossom Youth Ambassador Program to hold coronation

Event will be held by video as a result of COVID-19 precautions

Vernon shutterbugs capture rainbow

A rain event July 9 made way for a glorious sight

Couple shaken up after homophobic encounter at Kelowna mall

‘We’re not in the States; we’re not in some little hick town; we’re in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. And it still happens’

Summerland to allow in-person attendance at July 13 council meetings

Two meetings will be held at Summerland Arena Banquet Room to accommodate public

Fundraiser kicks off for Lake Country families displaced by house fire

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to raise $5K for those who lost everything in early morning blaze

Most Read