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OPINION: Everyone can play a role in helping end intimate partner violence

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April 18, 2016 - 9:47 AM

Editor's note: April 17 to April 23, 2016  is Prevention of Violence Against Women Week. As part of its efforts to focus attention on the ongoing issue of intimate partner violence, and galvanize the community to take action to help prevent it, the Kelowna Women’s Shelter submitted this article.


It’s not news that intimate partner violence is an ongoing problem in our society.

Half of all women in Canada have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual assault since the age of 16, and approximately every six days, a woman in this country is killed by her intimate partner.  In Kelowna, which has a range of resources available to victims, including a dedicated RCMP Integrated Domestic Violence Unit, we hold the dubious distinction of being the domestic violence capital of BC, with the highest number of reported incidents.

For the past 36 years, Kelowna Women’s Shelter has offered emergency and transitional housing, counselling, support, education and a fresh start to women and their children who have experienced domestic violence and abuse. Each year we house about 200 women and children, and provide more than a thousand individual and group counselling sessions.

Our services are free, and well used. And while just over half our budget is funded through the provincial government, we count on generous individual and organizational support to fund the rest.

People in the community often ask how they can help. Here are some suggestions:

Volunteer – Volunteers are the lifeblood of the Kelowna Women’s Shelter, and we couldn’t do what we do without them. Whether you want to sort and price donations at our Thrift Store, provide administrative support or do child care at the Shelter, serve on our board of directors, or staff events in the community, we’d love to hear from you.

Donate Now – Your donations of money, and goods and services, support a range of valuable programs and services which help women and their children find safe haven and move into a life free of abuse. Tax receipts are available for donations of $20 or more, and you can donate online through our website at

Leave a Legacy – Planned giving allows you to support Kelowna Women’s Shelter in the form of a direct bequest in your will, or through a gift to our Central Okanagan Foundation endowment fund. This is a great option for those who want to make a difference for years to come without depleting their current assets. Through planned giving you can also benefit from reduced income or estate taxes when you die, and support the Shelter in addition to your heirs. For a copy of our planned giving package, call 778-478-7774.

— The Kelowna Women’s Shelter is a non-profit organization that offers emergency transitional housing, counseling, support and education to women and their children who have experienced intimate partner violence. For more information, or to make a donation, visit or call 250-763-1040.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
InfoTel News Ltd

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