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Cost of living crisis making it worse for women to flee abuse: Penticton women’s society

South Okanagan Women in Need Society asking for support their Share the Spirit of Giving
SOWINS team members collecting items to sponsor families in need during the 2021 Share the Spirit campaign. (Submitted)

The ongoing cost of living crisis combined with the lack of affordable, adequate, and safe housing is preventing women from leaving abusive relationships.

And without intervention, the South Okanagan Women in Need Society (SOWINS) worries more women will be left in dangerous situations or forced to return to dangerous situations.

“This economic environment is difficult for many people and can be particularly difficult for women that are financially dependent on their abusive partners. It is impossible to separate physical safety from financial safety and financial hardship is a powerful tool of coercive control,” says Danielle Goulden, SOWINS executive director.

“A lack of financial stability and independence prevents women from leaving an abuser. It also prevents women who do leave abusive relationships from the ability to rebuild their lives safely which is why many women have little choice but to return”, Goulden added. “The costs of living crisis is forcing more women and children into dangerous situations and as we head into the winter months, the crisis will only get worse.”

READ ALSO: Sexual assault on the rise in South Okanagan, says SOWINS

As the charity embarks on its largest giving campaign of the season, they are encouraging the community to come together and support local women, youth, and children as the need is expected to be greater this year than in past years.

“Share the Spirit of Giving is our largest fundraising campaign of the year and there are many ways to give to local women and families,” said Marni Adams, fund development advisor with SOWINS.

To support you can donate online, sponsor a family in need to make their holiday a little brighter or build a backpack for someone who does not have a home for the holidays, said Adams.

Last year, SOWINS raised much-needed funds, sponsored more than 100 families in need and provided 50 backpacks to the community.

“We are concerned that the need will be significantly higher this year and hoping that the donations and support will match the need this year.”

If you want to find out more about Share the Spirit of Giving, you can contact Adams at or 250-488-1268.

The South Okanagan Women in Need Society is a registered charity serving women, children, youth, and families facing abuse and violence.

A 24-hour crisis line, emergency sheltering, counselling services for women, youth and children, mobile outreach and community-based victim services programs are a few of the services SOWINS offers to those in need from Summerland to Osoyoos and Princeton.

To learn more about SOWINS or to donate today go to

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Black Press Media Staff

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