Online auction underway to support Kelowna victims of domestic violence during pandemic - InfoNews

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Online auction underway to support Kelowna victims of domestic violence during pandemic

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June 25, 2020 - 2:00 PM

After learning domestic violence rates increase during times of crisis, UBC Okanagan medical students have created an online fundraiser to support the Kelowna Women’s Shelter.

When a professor raised the issue of domestic violence increasing during economic downturns, disasters and pandemics, the students created the Kelowna Women’s Safety Initiative.

The students aim to mobilize community resources, raise awareness of intimate partner violence during times of crisis and to raise funds for the shelter, said Stacy Dikareva, a UBC medical student with Kelowna Women’s Safety Initiative.

In April, the executive director of the Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society heard from RCMP officers on the frontlines that they’ve seen more cases of domestic abuse.

The Kelowna Women’s Shelter has also experienced a loss of revenue since its thrift store has closed and it has been unable to hold its usual fundraising events as a result of the pandemic, Dikareva said.

READ MORE: Domestic violence reports surge as COVID-19 stay-at-home directive drags on

The students are hoping to raise $10,000 by the end of the month with the online auction. Funds raised will go towards food, hygiene products, outreach and counselling support services.

“This is an opportunity for our community to come together and showcase businesses who have donated to the campaign and to also support survivors,” she said. “We’re all trying to help take care of each other during this time.”

To bid in the online auction and support the women’s shelter, visit the Trellis website here. The fundraiser ends June 30.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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