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KWS launching domestic abuse campaign, Hidden in Plain Sight

The Kelowna Women’s Shelter (KWS) is launching a campaign titled Hidden in Plain Sight: Ending Abuse and Building Hope with Csek Creative to raise awareness and break the stigma of domestic abuse.

The KWS is a frontline organization providing hope, safety and resources to women and children leaving domestic abuse.

“KWS is very proud of this campaign, not only because of the conversations that will start, but because of the women,” said Allison Mclauchlan, KWS executive director.

<who>Photo Credit: Kelowna Women's Shelter

Survivors at the shelter were included in the campaign discussions to ensure their voices were heard and their realities are accurately displayed.

“We wanted to do a full-on in-your-face campaign,” explained Mclauchlan. “People get upset when you tell the truth or you show the realities, and we didn't want to hide from it.”

The campaign will begin next week on the KWS website and their social media platforms, including Instagram and Facebook.

Abuse is not always physical, and it often includes gaslighting, humiliation, isolation and intimidation, causing it to be hidden in plain sight.

“We're also very pleased to have the campaign as it will hopefully send a message to women and children to show them that we care,” Mclauchlan said. “We see you, we hear you, and when you are ready, we're here to support you.”

One in three women in Canada experience domestic abuse at some point in their life.

“It could be the person who is sitting beside you, but you don’t know because you don’t see it. It’s not physical,” explained Rob Cupello, VP of business development at Csek Creative.

Mclauchlan wants women facing domestic abuse to know that they are not alone.

“Although their experiences are unique to them, there are thousands of women who share a little part of your story, and there is support and help. When the time is right, reach out.”

The KWS transition house provides safe and secure accommodation, basic needs, referrals and one-on-one support.

“Although the shelter is the cornerstone of our organization, we are so much more than a house. We provide programs and services that go beyond the four walls of our shelter to reach vulnerable families in the community,” Mclauchlan explained.

If you suspect someone you know is being abused, it is advised to ask them directly if they feel safe at home. If they disclose information to you, listen.

“Let the little voice inside your head do all the screaming. Just listen, because that's all she needs. She doesn't need you to fix it. She doesn't need you to solve it. She has been surviving it,” stated Mclauchlan.

"You can ask ‘what would you like me to do with what you just shared with me,’ and if she says nothing, you do nothing.”

A warning sign of abuse is when someone is silenced out of fear and intimidation.

If you are looking for help, visit the KWS website here or call the 24-hour helpline at (250) 763-1040.

If you are looking to give help, visit the KWS website here. The KWS Thrift Store provides extra funding to support the women and children.

Transwomen are welcome to receive support from KWS.

Csek Creative is the parent company of KelownaNow.

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