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Theo Fleury First to Sign ‘Statement of Need’?

NHL legend Theo Fleury was one of 50 new signatures collected Dec.2nd on a ‘statement of need’ to support services for male survivors of sexual abuse in the Okanagan Valley. Fleury met with members of the “1 in 6 Coalition” of the Okanagan, a group of non-profit organizations collaborating to address service gaps for male survivors.

South Okanagan Victim Assistance Society (SOVAS) hosted a screening of the documentary, “Boys and Men Healing from childhood sexual abuse”, at Okanagan College in Penticton that night. Fleury, who was in the area for another charitable event, sent a personal message to share with the crowd.

“My goal and mission is to continue to be a loud voice for this painful and debilitating cause,” stated Fleury. “Sexual abuse is the biggest epidemic on the planet and we will not stop until everyone who has suffered has a place to go and get the support they need to get on the path of recovery. Remember you are not alone and it wasn’t your fault.”

More than 50 individuals participated in the Penticton screening, which included guest speaker Don Wright of the BC Society for Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse and PIB elder Vera Gabriel who opened and closed the event with a prayer.

“It was a powerful day of community dialogue about this issue,” commented Lisa Needoba, SOVAS Agency Coordinator. “We are looking forward to creating new opportunities for healing in collaboration with the BC Society for Male Survivors”.

Left to right: Don Wright, Executive Director/Founder of the BC Society for Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse; Aimee Thompson, Executive Director of Elizabeth Fry Society of the Central Okanagan; Theoren Fleury; Shelley Cook, Executive Director of the John Howard Society of the Central and South Okanagan; Anne Reinders, South Okanagan Victim Assistance Society (SOVAS) Men’s Counsellor; and Lisa Needoba, SOVAS Agency Coordinator.

SOVAS offers men’s trauma counselling one day per week at their Penticton office and has been working to expand the service to respond to the waitlist. The service receives financial support from the United Way, the Province of BC, and the general community.

For more information contact:

Lisa Needoba

SOVAS Agency Coordinator

lisa.sovas@gmail.com

South Okanagan Victim Assistance Society

204-304 Martin St. Penticton, BC V2A 5K4

ph: 250-493-0800 fax: 250-493-2241

www.sovas.ca