Members of the South Okanagan Victim Assistance Society march for International Women’s Day in 2017. Kristi Patton/Western News

South Okanagan victim services organization closing down

The South Okanagan Victim Assistance Society will continue to operate until June 30

After more than 25 years in service, the South Okanagan Victims Assistance Society is closing its doors for the last time on June 30.

The non-profit has been operating in the region since 1991, offering a variety of services, from the community based victim services program to the stop-the-violence counselling program to the men’s counselling program.

“With a changing environment and challenges of managing capacity, the board has made the difficult decision to close their offices on Martin Street,” the organization said in a news release posted to its Facebook page.

SOVAS will continue to operate until the end of the month, while the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General identifies new contractors in the community to continue victims and stop-the-violence counselling services.

The Penticton and Area Access Centre, “who recognizes the huge impact that the Men’s Counselling Program has on the people,” will be working to ensure that program continues.

Those interested in working to continue that program is asked to contact Access Centre executive director Katrina McKeown by email.

“The Board wishes to thank its community and Ministry partners and, most importantly, its staff for their tireless contributions of knowledge, experience and community awareness of SOVAS over the last 25+ years.”

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