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Sexual assaults on the rise in South Okanagan: Women’s society

South Okanagan Women in Need Society responds by creating new response team
Liz Gomes, Director of Community Programs and Services at SOWINS is lacing up her running shoes for the Walk to End Abuse Sunday, June 5 at Rotary Park in Penticton. (Submitted)

In response to a rise in sexual assaults, South Okanagan Women in Need Society (SOWINS) has created a new Sexual Assault Response Team.

“We have seen a steep increase in sexual assaults in our community,” said Danielle Goulden, executive director of the SOWINS. “Our Sexual Assault Response Team was created to support these women and youth that are survivors of sexual assault.”

The need for the services provided by SOWINS continues to rise and the society is doing all it can to keep up with the need.

“We are receiving calls and referrals daily for women, youth and children that need support,” she said. “We offer free counselling and unfortunately, we do have a waitlist so are hoping to hire another counsellor to support these women that need us.”

As a registered charity, SOWINS relies on support from the community to provide these programs including free counselling to ensure women and families receive the support they need.

SOWINS is hosting its most important fundraiser of the year on Sunday, June 5 at Rotary Park.

“Our annual Walk to End Abuse presented by The Penticton Foundry is back,” said Goulden. “We are excited to connect with our community once again and walk together as we take a stand against abuse and violence in our community.”

The walk is at 10 a.m. starting at Rotary Park on Sunday, June 5. There will be morning coffee and donuts courtesy of Tim Horton’s. Stories will be shared by SOWINS survivors as well as the walk.

This year’s goal is to raise $60,000 and the society is asking you to sign up, donate and walk.

Sign up today at

READ MORE: Walk to End Abuse breaks fundraising record in 2021 with $53K raised

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Monique Tamminga

About the Author: Monique Tamminga

Monique brings 20 years of award-winning journalism experience to the role of editor at the Penticton Western News. Of those years, 17 were spent working as a senior reporter and acting editor with the Langley Advance Times.
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