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Clothed in Confidence

The Foundation4 Domestic Violence Prevention is Holding Their Third Annual Event on April 7, Themed Hats and Heels.

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Article by Judy Goppert

Photography by Provided

Originally published in Lee's Summit Lifestyle

The Foundation4 Domestic Violence Prevention is holding its third annual event on April 7, themed Hats & Heels.

Do you have a dress, or a pair of jeans or perhaps shoes that make you feel confident when you wear them? That strength actually comes from deep within your heart and soul, and the clothing is just like wearing a Superman cape!

That is the basic concept behind the Clothed in Confidence Fashion Show, a benefit for the amazing Foundation4DVP. This 2019 signature event is a fashion show with a twist, debuting the latest fashions from local Kansas City boutiques while educating attendees about domestic violence. Some of the models include domestic violence survivors who will share their stories with attendees, illuminating how domestic violence comes in many forms. In addition to the fashion show, attendees will also enjoy both a live and silent auction.

Funds raised at Clothed in Confidence will support the development of a comprehensive program including easy-to-implement curriculum to teach students self-worth, identifying values, and skills to set boundaries with others.

Foundation4DVP is working toward a world with significantly fewer incidents of domestic violence.

Tracey Passantino, co-founder and CEO, had a specific reason for founding the group. She says, “On June 8, 2003, at 11:15 p.m. I got a phone call from my younger sister, Leslie. The condensed version of our conversation is that she told me her husband was in jail, she was on the couch with a loaded gun, and her kids were safe in bed. My nieces were 3 and 5 years old, and they had witnessed his abuse. The next morning, we grabbed as much as we could fit into two cars and left her home. My sister and nieces were in a shelter for two months, and the divorce process started. When she came out of shelter, she started a new life, free from the physical abuse, but far from free of the psychological damage from 18 years of emotional abuse.”

In 2012, they decided they could no longer sit back and watch this social issue continue to grow. Domestic violence comes in many forms, be it physical and emotional abuse, financial control, intimidation or threats. This group seeks to create an educational model that is easy for educators to incorporate into their daily lesson plans and complies with state requirements for Social Emotional Learning (SEL).

“We anticipate that we’ll have our first pilot with a fourth-grade class in Spring 2020. Behind the scenes, we are in the final stages of creating our development team, final discussions about collaborating with a local domestic violence shelter and working on the brand for the model with experts in graphics and storytelling,” Passantino says. “Many times, prevention is simply not possible because the abuse has already begun. This is why we care about reaching kids in fourth through eighth grades, hopefully before they experience abuse.

“As humans we want to help others but as Midwesterners we don’t want to interfere if we suspect something is going on. You could risk losing a friendship by speaking up. Or you can keep quiet and wonder later, sometimes when a life has been lost, why you didn’t ask your friend, family member or co-worker the difficult questions.”

Ami Buccero, secretary and executive board member for the Foundation4DVP, says, “Domestic violence is a very tough subject and makes many people uncomfortable. Thankfully, and as most people are aware, we have many amazing resources for domestic violence survivors to go to in Kansas City for help. The pothole in the domestic violence spectrum is education. That’s where the Foundation4DVP steps in. Every board member is completely invested in educating today’s youth and assisting with the implementation of a curriculum at the elementary level. With successful events such as Clothed in Confidence, we will raise sufficient funds so we can successfully educate today’s youth, thereby significantly reducing the number of domestic violence cases in the world. ‘Elimination by Education.’”           

Foundation4 Domestic Violence Prevention is a 501(c)3 non-profit. Our mission is: by educating teens and pre-teens, we can significantly reduce future incidents of every type of domestic violence. Visit Foundation4DVP.org for more information. Visit NNEDV.org for red flags of abuse.

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