It began in 1981 with a group of women concerned for women in their own community – women experiencing intimate partner violence. There was no safe refuge. No emergency shelter or transition house for women and children to flee to.
There was only the concern and generosity of volunteers as they began to open their homes to ensure the safety of those that needed a place to go.
As the need has grown, so has the South Okanagan Women in Need Society (SOWINS).
Today, 40-years-later, SOWINS operates a 35-bed emergency transition house, provides counselling to women in our community, ensures the children and youth experiencing violence in the home have access to resources and counselling, provides community-based victim services, provides pre-employment services for clients to get started in their journey, offers emergency shelter for youth, and operates the Centre which provides counselling, care, and the basics to those that are most vulnerable in our community.
The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly amplified the risk to women and children. Opportunities to escape from abuse are now more difficult than ever. Still, referrals to SOWINS and the need for care have increased by 20 per cent in our community.
That’s where SOWINS is reaching out to the community.
“We need your help,” said SOWINS in a press release.
Every year, SOWINS hosts a walk and event fundraiser at Rotary Park at Okanagan Lake. But of course, SOWINS couldn’t host this vital fundraiser this year in person.
In 2019, $50,000 was raised at the Walk to End Abuse.
That’s why they are asking to show support by walking with your ‘bubble’ on Sunday, June 13 and together help break the silence and stop the violence in our community.
This year, SOWINS is celebrating 40 years in the community. The slogan for the walk will be SOWINS -40 years, now more than ever.
The sixth annual walk in 2019 saw more than 100 participants and spectators.
For more information on how you can pledge or donate, go to the webpage.
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