Residents from all walks of life rallied together on the weekend to help start the healing process for one of the most horrific attacks the community has seen in recent memory.
Close to 200 people gathered in Penticton’s Nanaimo Square Saturday for the Strength in Numbers event to offer support to the victim of a violent attack. A 22-year-old Penticton woman was brutally beaten and held captive in an Ellis Street second-hand store for more than 10 hours — all while her 22-month-old son sat nearby.
The brutal attack sent shock waves through the community, also touching a nerve with complete strangers who wanted to lend support to the brave victim of the attack.
“Fear makes us feel helpless. But in coming together as a community, supporting one another and talking about what we can do to make things safer, we can lose that feeling of powerlessness and move forward,” said Reasha Wolfe with the Penticton and Area Women’s Centre.
The women’s centre joined with the South Okanagan Victim Assistance Society, South Okanagan Women in Need Society and Okanagan Nation Transition Emergency House to organize the Strength in Numbers gathering.
“When a woman cries, the entire community feels her pain. In the wake of this tragic event, it has pulled together the community as well as other organizations to offer our support,” read a statement from the Transition Emergency House.
The attack, along with an unrelated sexual assault that took place last week in Okanagan Falls, shows that no community is immune to acts of senseless violence.
But Saturday’s march helped bring the community together to share their concerns and comfort their fears, while showing the victims of such acts that they are not alone.
— Penticton Western News