Support the Kelowna Women's Shelter during the month of June

Support for women's shelter

For the month of June, the Kelowna Women's Safety Initiative will be raising funds for the Kelowna Women's Shelter through a virtual silent auction fundraiser.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing has become a critical step in preventing the potential spread of the virus. But for many people, home is not a safe place.

One-in-three women have experienced intimate partner violence during their lifetime and the World Health Organization states that since the beginning of the pandemic, these rates have increased worldwide. 

Kelowna is no exception to this and now more than ever, survivors who may currently be isolated have limited resources to help them. 

The Kelowna Women's Shelter has supported survivors of domestic violence and their children since 1980. Staff work 24 hours a day to ensure women have a safe place to go if they are fleeing from their current situation.  

Unfortunately due to social distancing measures, the shelter has experienced a loss of revenue and the shelter's thrift store is currently closed along with the cancellation of fundraising events. But there are still ways the public can help. 

"At the onset of the pandemic in March, a local family physician raised the issue of intimate partner violence and encouraged medical students to come up with a way to address the potential lack of supports for survivors in our community, knowing that rates of violence increase in natural disasters and pandemics," says volunteer with the Kelowna Women's Safety Initiative Stacy Dikareva.

"A group of us with a shared interest in women’s health formed the Kelowna Women’s Safety Initiative to raise awareness and raise funds for the Kelowna Women’s Shelter which directly supports survivors of abuse."

The Kelowna Women's Safety Initiative is led by a group of UBC medical student volunteers who have dedicated their time to raise funds for the Women's Shelter from June 1 to June 30. The Kelowna Women's Safety Initiative Silent Auction will feature items from local businesses, artists and artisians.

"This is a way for people to do two things at once, support survivors in our community but also highlight our local businesses and artists," says Dikareva. 

Individuals and businesses can also donate directly to the campaign. To bid or donate click here. For questions or inquiries visit the Kelowna Women's Safety Initiative on Instagram @kelownawsi 

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