South Okanagan Women In Need Society (SOWINS)

A member of the BC Society of Transition Houses, SOWINS provides safety and support to women and families who are affected by abuse or violence. SOWINS programs are accessible, inclusive, and free for women and children who have experienced or are at risk of experiencing abuse. Our vision is one where all individuals have the ability to make choices to live a safe and happy life. Each year we help over 800 clients to move on with their lives; away from abuse and violent relationships toward hope and happiness.

SOWINS logoOur Impact Why We Exist

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.

Established in 1981, SOWINS is a Federally Registered Charity and Incorporated BC Society #S-16224.

SOWINS is governed by a volunteer board. The Executive Director oversees a staff of about 30 women comprised of part-time, full-time and casual positions, at various locations throughout the South Okanagan Similkameen.

hands encircling logoOur Story What We Do


Our vision is one where all individuals have the ability to make choices to live a safe and healthy life.


SOWINS works to prevent abuse and increase awareness about the impacts of abuse. Through creating dynamic, life-changing opportunities for empowerment of individuals and families, we will support their physical, mental, emotional, and financial wellness.


SOWINS, a registered charity and non-profit society, was formed in 1981 to provide safety and support to women and families who are affected by abuse or violence. Our service area, the South Okanagan Region of BC, spans about 4000 square miles from Summerland to Osoyoos; Penticton to Keremeos. 


1. Short-term Shelter for Women and Families Fleeing Abuse

2. Outreach Services for Women and Mature Women

3. Children Who Witness Abuse Counselling

4. Specialized Employment Services

5. WE: Project holistic life skills


1. The Transition House - a confidential location in Penticton.

2. Administration and Outreach Services Offices #102 - 1027 Westminster Ave West,  Penticton, BC V2A 1L4

3. Safe Homes - accredited, private residences within our service area.

Imagine Canada Accreditation logoOur Programs How We Do It

TRANSITION HOUSE: Providing safe, confidential shelter for children, youth and women who have experienced or are at risk of abuse. Transition House & Crisis Line are open 24 hours per day 7 days per week. Accepts new residents at any time. The bed capacity is 14 and the stay is up to 30 days. Telephone: (250) 493-7233 Toll Free 1-800-814-2033

SAFE HOMES: Volunteers open their homes to our clients for a maximum of 10 days providing companionship and safety in a time of crisis. During their stay in safe homes clients receive the services of our outreach staff to help them identify the next steps in their journey. Call 250-493-4366 or email

CRISIS LINE: Crisis Line is open 24 hours per day 7 days per week. Providing safe, confidential information for children, youth and women who have experienced or are at risk of abuse. Telephone: (250) 493-7233 Toll Free 1-800-814-2033

CHILDREN & YOUTH WHO WITNESS ABUSE: A free program for ages 5-18. Children/youth have a safe environment to share personal experiences and to learn healthy coping skills through individual one-on-one sessions or group sessions. Support is also provided to the non-offending parent/caregiver. We also provide the VIP (Violence is Preventable Program) in schools.

COMMUNITY OUTREACH: Offers support to women navigating family law matters: applying for legal aid, finding a lawyer, court/ lawyer accompaniment; post court/lawyer meeting support. Our goal is to help women to clarify their rights and responsibilities when abusive relationships end, to identify community resources/ supports and make referrals.

WOMEN'S OUTREACH: Helps women (18–50 ) who have been abused by a: spouse/partner, person they are dating, family member, or an acquaintance/stranger. She provides a safe, supportive and confidential place to speak about the abuse you have experienced. Services include: counselling, safety planning, advocacy services, community information and referrals.

MATURE OUTREACH: Older women (50+ ) face many of the same problems as younger women when they leave abusive relationships but with added complexities. Similar to women’s outreach with services that are attuned to the needs of mature women and include: individual counseling; safety planning, accompaniment, community information and referrals.

SPECIALIZED EMPLOYMENT SERVICES: The overall goal of our services is to assist women to recognize, understand and overcome the impacts of abuse.  We do so by providingworkshops focused on healing and life skills, as well as group and individual counseling.

WE: PROJECT: The WE: Project brings together community members who share their life skills, passions, and healthy/ holistic living with the women and families that SOWINS’ serves. Classes include arts & crafts, yoga, meditation, cooking, sewing, reiki, angel cards, and more. Participants may also take part in the SOWINS' summer market booth.

I want to helpWhat You Can Do

There are many ways that you can help support our programs and services:

  • Donate Today: 100% of monetary donations to SOWINS go towards the programs and services that support women and children who are affected by abuse. 
  • Volunteer: Volunteering with SOWINS gives you the opportunity to contribute to our success by giving of your time. 
  • Participate: SOWINS has many fundraising and community engagement events throughout the year such as Share the Spirit or Walk a Mile in Her Shoes South Okanagan You can support our organization by attending one of these events or by putting on an event of your own through Third Party Fundraising.

Contact our office today to find out more ways that you can help. 250-493-4366 or


Debbie Scarborough
Executive Director
250.493.4366 x101
Charitable Number: 129987665RR0001

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Finance & Governance


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