For six years, Heather silently endured multiple forms of abuse in her marriage. Protecting her loved ones from her reality left her isolated and feeling like a shell of who she once was.
“I was overcome with feelings of worthlessness, disgust, and shame. Lost and confused, I constantly asked myself, “how did I get here?”
On the night that enough was enough, she remembers thinking, “if I don’t leave now, I’m going to die.” It felt like a weight lifted when I finally reached out for help. I was no longer bearing this on my own.”
Over time, and with the help of my support system, she was able to heal and regain her independence. “Slowly, I became me again— a person with a fierce desire to advocate and support others as they find themselves again,” she said.
“As a support worker at SOWINS, my experience gave me empathy to understand our client’s journeys. I know firsthand that healing is not linear and the impact that organization’s like SOWINS have on communities,” said Heather.
Today (March 30) you can help a woman like Heather regain her independence. Donate online or join SOWINS at Cherry Lane Shopping Centre on March 30 between 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. for Penticton’s Bounce Radio ‘Have a Heart Radiothon.’
Together with Bounce Radio, SOWINS is raising funds to expand their Second Stage Housing Program which provides safe and affordable housing for women and their families.
“Unfortunately, many women that leave the house have no where to go and end up returning to their abusers,” said Liz Gomes, acting executive director of SOWINS.
At SOWINS, women seek refuge, often with their children in tow to the Transition House, an emergency home for women and children.
“Unfortunately, the issue with housing is affecting this program with few units available,” Gomes added. Funds raised will go to future housing options.
The women moving into these housing units usually have very little. They require all household items like bedding, dishes, pots and pans, towels, and your everyday basics to set up a home for one’s family.
For these needs, the charity offers Starter Kits for the women moving. Each kit is approximately $500 in value to get started.
If you’d like to know more or donate go sowins.com/haveaheart.
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