More than 75 people came out to the South Okanagan Women in Need Society’s Walk to End Abuse at Penticton’s Rotary Park on Sunday, June 4.
Those who attended heard from survivor Hannah, who endured several years of unimaginable abuse by her ex-husband.
Hannah told the crowd that she met him at church and fell in love. They were married when she was just 20. The belittling and control began and also the physical abuse.
“By year four, I was a shell of my former self,” she said. She had been hiding it from her family and friends for so long she didn’t know who she was. But one night after being strangled by him, she found a way to get out. With support from her family, she was able to move on.
She took a job with a domestic violence shelter but even with her lived experience, she wasn’t ready for how hard it would be to see others going through it. With counselling and support, she realized it was her true calling.
“Now I’m humbled to work with survivors everyday with SOWINS,” said Hannah.
Nearly $42,000 had been raised before the walk had even started. The goal is to exceed last year where over $60,000 was raised.
“All money raised will stay in our community to directly serve women, youth and children in our care,” said Marni Adams, development advisor at SOWINS.
Home Hardware Penticton presented a cheque for $2,340 with money they raised through the barbecues. The Eagles of Penticton presented a cheque for $700.
Speakers Karen Mason and Dr. Paul van Donkelaar from SOAR (Supporting Survivors of Abuse and Brain Injury through Research) spoke about the traumatic brain injuries domestic violence victims can have from the abuse.
One in three women will experience intimate partner violence in their lifetime. Most will also suffer a brain injury as a result of the abuse, said van Donkelaar.
There is still time to donate here.