Our programs and services provide shelter, safety and support by helping individuals recognize, understand and overcome the impacts of abuse. Our services are provided to individuals who have experienced, or who are at risk of experiencing violence or abuse in the South Okanagan (from Summerland to Osoyoos and from Naramata to Keremeos).
Established in 1981, SOWINS (South Okanagan Women in Need Society) is a Federally Registered Charity #12998 7665 RR0001 and Incorporated BC Society #S-16224.
SOWINS is governed by a volunteer board of six to 10 community members. An Executive Director oversees the staff of 60+ individuals. Staff is comprised of part-time, full-time and casual positions, at three Penticton locations locations throughout the South Okanagan Similkameen.
We are a compassionate group dedicated to the vision of a society where women and children live their lives free from violence and abuse. Collaborative and co-creative for the benefit our clients and community, we partner with peer agencies, work on response and policy development committees, and provide educational information about abuse to the general community.
All individuals have the ability to make choices to live a safe and healthy life
Supporting individuals in their recovery from the impact of violence and abuse while working to prevent violence and abuse in our communities.
- Every person is an individual deserving of respect and dignity
- Abuse is a societal issue, not a private one, and we all have a personal and collective responsibility to end violence
- Addressing and coping with abuse requires ongoing individualized support from a variety of community and personal supports for both victim and offender
- Violence is a learned behaviour and can be addressed through education, counselling and accountability
- Relationship violence impacts everyone in the family
- Abuse can have devastating impacts on all aspects of self
- All forms of abuse are unacceptable
- Healthy relationships are cooperative, balanced and equal
How we help
We are here for you. We will give you information and guidance to help you make decisions and choices based on your personal situation that will help you take the steps towards change – away from abuse. People can also call for information about how to assist a friend, family member or business associate who has experienced abuse.
- Women may phone and ask for help whenever it is needed
- No referral is necessary
- Our services are free
Crisis Line 250-493-7233 / 250-493-SAFE 1-800-814-2033
The 24-hour Crisis Line provides support for women who are experiencing or at risk of abuse. Staff is available 24/7/365 as the first point of contact for individuals who are seeking help, support, and information.
If you or someone you know is in a life-threatening situation, PLEASE CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY.
Emergency Shelter 250-493-7233 / 250-493-SAFE 1-800-814-2033
The Transition House located in Penticton provides shelter for women and their children. It is staffed 24 hours a day and offers enhanced security. Residents may stay for up to 30 days while they recover from their crisis and make plans for the future.
Female Youth Bed 250-493-7233 / 250-493-SAFE 1-800-814-2033
Free and confidential temporary safe shelter for female youth, to begin recovery and explore options for the future. At a confidential location in Penticton with enhanced security features, is open to accept youth 24-7-365
Safe Homes 250-493-7233 / 250-493-SAFE 1-800-814-2033
Safe Homes are private residences in the community that provide shelter for up to ten days for women who are experiencing or are at risk of abuse. Some Safe Homes do allow children and pets.
Women’s Counselling Programs 250-493-4366
We offer individual counselling, advocacy, referrals and support for women who have experienced or are at risk of abuse. Contact us to make an appointment at 250-493-4366 or drop by the office at #102-1027 Westminster Ave W, Penticton Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to noon during our walk-in times. Our services are free and confidential with no referral necessary.
Children & Youth Counselling Program 250-493-4366
The Children & Youth Counselling Program is a free intervention program for children and youth ages 5-18 who have witnessed/experienced emotional, mental and/or physical abuse in their home. Contact us to make an appointment 250-493-4366.
SAFExst Program 236-422-1488
The SAFExst Program provides dedicated support to help clients who want to exit sexual exploitation by providing safety, shelter and support.