Our Impact

For all survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

The Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society is a team of advocates, activists and volunteers working together to bring about social change for those who have experienced abuse: Women, men, youth, children & LGBTQ2S+ survivors. Our mission is to support and empower survivors of domestic and sexual abuse, assault and exploitation here in our community – the Central Okanagan Valley. We do this through raising awareness of our cause, engaging in activism and by raising funds for the Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society to support the services it offers those in our community.

We believe, not only in the strength and equality of women and children, but that all persons regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation or political affiliation have a role to play in bringing about such social change. We believe that creating support for The Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society is an effective pathway to achieving lasting social change in our community. Perhaps most importantly, we believe in the power of doing over talking and as such we organize activities including fundraising events, campaigning, marching & protesting.

The first Elizabeth Fry Society was established in BC more than 70 years ago.

Founded in 1972, as a sister-Society of the Elizabeth Fry Society of BC, the Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society’s work is guided by the historical legacy of caring and compassion of Elizabeth Fry.

Her belief in the inherent dignity and worth of every person continues to live on in our work more than a century later.
Elizabeth Fry (21 May 1780 – 12 October 1845) was an English social reformer

From the age of 18 she took an interest in the poor, the sick, and the prisoners. She collected old clothes for the poor, visited those who were sick in her neighborhood, and started a Sunday school in the summer house to teach children to read.

She became well known in society. Some people criticized her for having such an influential role as a woman. Others alleged that she was neglecting her duties as a wife and mother in order to conduct her humanitarian work.

One admirer was Queen Victoria, who granted her an audience a few times and contributed money to her cause. Another admirer was Robert Peel who passed several acts to further her cause including the Gaols Act 1823.

The Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society, along with other members of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies honor her memory by advocating for women’s rights and supporting victims of crime.

The Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society (COEFS) is a feminist organization that is focused on bringing about an end to violence, eliminating poverty, and seeking justice for women & children in the Central Okanagan Valley. Working in partnership with similar organizations, COEFS achieves this purpose through the delivery of preventative and intervention services for women and children.


A community with dignity, security, and equality for all


To support and empower those affected by sexual abuse, exploitation or violence and improve the Central Okanagan.


Equality – We strive to be fair and equitable with all individuals

Inclusiveness – We strive to be open and inclusive in everything we do

Integrity – We strive to be honest and have strong moral principles to engender trust amongst our clients, staff and stakeholders

Respect – We are respectful of all individuals regardless of their race, gender, religion, beliefs or personal situation

Accountability – We accept responsibility for our actions and behaviors

Guiding Principles

We believe in the dignity and inherent worth of all people.

We believe that gender-based violence impairs or nullifies the enjoyment by women of human rights and fundamental freedoms and limits women’s ability to function as full citizens.

We  believe that the responsibility for abuse lies not only with the individual offender but with society; we also believe that services to empower those who have been abused should be a societal responsibility.

We believe that individuals who have experienced abuse have a right to accessible, specialized therapy.

Strategic Priorities

The Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society has identified four strategic priorities during 2016-21.

Stop violence against women & children in this community. 

This is done through meaningful evidence-based approaches to assessing domestic violence risk and developing a coordinated response to both domestic and sexual violence. We reach out to vulnerable and isolated women and girls to prevent harm. We educate youth in the community to make positive choices for themselves, their peers, and their community.

Move low income women out of poverty.

We offer support services to women. We provide practical assistance to get women back on their feet. We reach out to connect women to the resources that they need in order to gain long term security.

Promote the legal rights, justice, and services for women and children.

We advocate on behalf of women and children who are involved in the justice system. We provide practical information, and accompaniment to legal appointments and court appearances. We speak out on behalf of people in our community whose rights are being compromised.


For the 2016-21 period COEFS will accomplish its mission by taking action to achieving the following goals.

  1. Expand Preventative Programs
  2. Strengthen Intervention Programs & Services to Address Clients Needs
  3. Strengthened Organization Effectiveness
  4. Enhanced Collaborative Fund Raising Practices
  5. Enhanced Community Awareness of COEFS Programs and Services

This is how YOU can empower change

EMPOWERIFIC was founded in 2013 with key objective of getting more people involved in the cause of Empowering Change – asking the community to volunteer with and to fundraise for the Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society (COEFS).

The word EMPOWERIFIC was used initially to describe events organised by the Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society such as Take Back the Night and events organised by supporters such as Bellyfit fundraisers.

But it was such an awesome word that we decided to build a community around it! Through Spring 2013 EMPOWERIFIC will be launched to the world!

Our Values

Activism & Contribution – we are action oriented and value every contribution made to the cause no matter how small.

Dignity, Equality & Respect – we are an open network in which anyone may serve regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation or political affiliation and all members of the network are to treat others with respect and in a manner that preserves dignity at all times.

Expression, Freedom & Innovation – Empowerific encourages new ideas and creative expression. We seek to bring about social change not just through hard work, but through innovative thinking.

Cooperation, Teamwork & Wisdom – Our mission is not small, nor is it trivial, but its path is beset with challenges. We believe we will overcome these challenges by setting individual agendas aside, co-operating with those outside our network, working with those within our network as a team and by taking counsel from our combined life experience.

Join us… and BE EMPOWERIFIC!