The South Okanagan Women in Need Society (SOWINS) surpassed their goal of $60,000 for the 2022 Walk to End Abuse on Sunday morning. More than 150 people came out and braved the possibility of rain.
The wet weather did stay away as people and dogs took the walk down the Lakeshore Drive promenade a bit earlier than the set time of 11 a.m.
“The Walk went great. Unfortunately the weather didn’t cooperate as much as we’d like so we didn’t get as many people out but all our fundraising was done before the walk and we got some very generous donations today at the walk,” said Marni Adams who organized the walk.
“We’ve exceeded our target of $60,000 so amazing support from the community.”
“All money raised will stay in our community to directly serve women, youth and children in our care,” said Adams, development advisor at SOWINS.
The Walk began at Rotary Park and went to the SS Sicamous and back. The morning began with survivors’ stories of hope.
An outreach program coordinator with SOWINS spoke to the crowd about how it can take a woman eight or nine tries to be able to successfully flee an abuser.
A survivor’s story was shared about how one woman feared for her life, but more importantly for her young daughter’s. Luckily, she was able to flee to the safety of SOWINS transitional housing. The woman is now free of abuse and wanted to share with other women that there is hope for a better future. The woman and her daughter are thriving now, thanks to counselling and housing they got through SOWINS.
The walk is SOWINS’ most important fundraiser of the year.
Lori Goldman was walking in support of SOWINS and said domestic abuse is one of those hidden things we don’t see with many women being isolated away from friends and family. She walks every year to support the good work of SOWINS.
During the height of COVID lockdowns, calls to SOWINS slowed because domestic abusers were home from work and the victims didn’t have the accessibility to phone or access help, said a SOWINS intake advocacy counsellor.
SOWINS offers a number of specialized programs that serve women, youth, children and families. Among those services includes a 24-hour crisis line, emergency shelters and counselling services for youth and children to help break the cycle of violence. The funds raised from the June 5 walk will help the SOWINS continue to provide these services.