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South Okanagan Women In Need Society hosting virtual fundraiser in June

SOWINS is dedicated to helping women and children in need and provides counselling, shelter, safety and support. SOWINS

The South Okanagan Women In Need Society is celebrating its 40th anniversary next month with a virtual fundraiser.

Based in Penticton, but with a reach across the South Okanagan and into the Similkameen, SOWINS is dedicated to helping women and children in need and provides counselling, shelter, safety and support.

The society says when it formed in 1981, there was no safe refuge, such as a transition house, for women experiencing intimate partner violence.

Read more: Supportive housing expansion helping Lethbridge women in need

“There was only the concern and generosity of volunteers as they began to open their homes to ensure safety of those that needed a place to go,” SOWINS said.

The organization also said the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly amplified the risk to women and children.

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“Opportunities to escape from abuse are now more difficult than ever,” it said. “However, referrals to SOWINS and the need for care have increased by 20 per cent in our community.”

Click to play video: 'Annual Penticton march against violence in support of victims'
Annual Penticton march against violence in support of victims

Enter next month’s fundraiser — The Walk to End Abuse – which is slated to take place on June 13.

SOWINS is hoping the community will sign up and donate to walk with their bubble that day.

All money raised will help women, children and families in the South Okanagan seek safety and the help they need.

For more about SOWINS, visit their website.

Click to play video: 'Helping at-risk women and children'
Helping at-risk women and children

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