STILLWATER, Okla. —
Sometimes just “being there” is enough — and that’s what Wings of Hope Family Crisis Services is asking the community to do at its free Fashion Show at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Meditations, 1205 Country Club Road.
“We are generating community awareness because domestic violence is never in style. Showing up in support of the cause to enjoy current fashions for all shapes and sizes should be fun,” said new Wings of Hope, Executive Director Marie Abraham-Robinson. “Statistics tell us one in every four women will experience domestic violence so this is a way to stand up in support of victims. We want to spread the message of our services for prevention and relief programs.”
“October is the national month for domestic violence awareness. There are many ways to show support — volunteering, donating — but sometimes showing victims that we are there for them says so much,” Abraham-Robinson said.
Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior perpetrated by an intimate partner against another. It is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, nationality or educational background, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
The community can help by radiating a presence at the fashion show which includes a presentation by Ms. America International Carla Gonzalez, a native Oklahoman from Idabel, who is using her title to speak out against domestic violence. In 2011, the Oklahoma Coalition against the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault executive committee honored Gonzalez with the “Power of One” award for her Teen Dating Violence Prevention efforts throughout the schools in Oklahoma. She holds a master’s degree in clinical social work from the University of Oklahoma and has worked for the Oklahoma State Department of Health for more than 20 years.
Models from throughout the community will be featured with fashions from about a dozen Stillwater merchants.
“OSU fashion design students will also showcase their creations,” Abraham-Robinson said. “Several campus sorority members will model, including Alpha Chi Omega and Kappa Delta.”
“Alpha Chi Omega is so passionate about our philanthropy of domestic violence awareness. Unfortunately, domestic violence is something that nearly everyone is affected by, either by experiencing it, or by knowing someone who has experienced it. We hope everyone will join us in this effort by coming to the fashion show and wearing their purple ribbons to show their support for putting an end to domestic violence,” said Trace White, vice president of philanthropy for Alpha Chi Omega.
A local jazz and gospel group, Inspired, will perform, Abraham-Robinson said.
“Our goal is to have fun by empowering the community with awareness of domestic violence and ways to seek help,” she said.
Abraham-Robinson emphasized there are no quick fixes but the power of being there cannot be underestimated.
“Wings of Hope works to foster a safe environment in which positive change can take place. It’s important for victims of domestic violence to know that people really do care about them,” Abraham-Robinson said. “Throughout October, staff members will be speaking to different organizations as well as hosting several public events to bring awareness to domestic violence.”
Wings of Hope provides various educational programs directed toward any audience with information on domestic violence, sheltering, parent education, dating violence, sexual assault, victim’s advocacy, child abuse and neglect, abuse prevention, how to help and the steps to stop violence.