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Violence against women an ongoing issue
The third week of April is Prevention of Violence against Women Week in British Columbia. As part of its efforts to focus attention on the ongoing issue of family violence, and galvanize the community to take action to help prevent it, the Kelowna Women’s Shelter submitted this article we are proud to publish.
You can’t turn on the TV or radio, or pick up a newspaper without being confronted with the grim truth. Every day it seems, there’s news of another tragic incident of violence against women.
A famous South African athlete stands trial for murder in the shooting death of his girlfriend.
Police in Langley issue an arrest warrant for a man who allegedly attempted to kill his ex-wife and daughter, and also set fire to their house.
Twenty-eight-year-old Matthew Foerster is convicted of murder in the death of 18-year-old Taylor Van Diest from Armstrong.
And less than two weeks ago, Kelowna RCMP arrest Ryan James Quigley and charge him with the murder of his fiance Amy Jane Parkes.
If the headlines aren’t enough to prove violence against women is an ongoing issue, the statistics are:
• More than one in four women in this country is abused by a male partner.
• On average, every six days a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner.
• Each year, violence and abuse drive more than 100,000 women and children out of their homes and into shelters.
The financial cost is bad enough – more than $4 billion a year to Canadian society – but the emotional and human costs are incalculable, and almost incomprehensible.
For 34 years, the Kelowna Women’s Shelter and its staff have provided refuge and hope for women and children whose lives have been affected by family violence. At the Shelter, victims of abuse find counseling, support and a safe place to stay – all completely free of charge.
But each time a new incident makes headlines, Shelter staff ask themselves the same questions: Why did the victim not seek help within the Shelter’s walls? Did she not know about the safe haven and free services the Shelter provides? Was she too scared to try and save herself? Too ashamed to admit she was experiencing abuse?
The barriers to women seeking help are as much an ongoing concern as the abuse itself. And while the Shelter staff, and its many dedicated volunteers and community supporters work hard to spread the word, there is clearly still much work to be done.
Do you have a friend or family member you suspect is being abused? Talk to her! Assure her she isn’t alone, is not to blame, and has nothing to be ashamed of. Then encourage her to contact the Shelter.
Just by taking that simple step to shatter the stigma and communicate the important message that abuse is never okay, but asking for help is, you can play a role in changing a life, and help keep one more terrible headline from making the front page.

50% off everything first Monday of each Month!





Check out our new, larger Thrift Store at #6- 368 Industrial
Avenue.  Just off Ellis between Clement and Bay – by Doggietopia.

Phone 250-762-8561.





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Pick up between 9:00 am to 3:00 pm at Orchard Plaza mall, Saturday, May 10th. $40. Proceeds to Kelowna Women's Shelter.