Author: Sonique Solutions | Date: 14 June 2019
The organizer behind ‘Dressed Up’, the specialty dress shoppe coming soon to Newark’s Teachers Village, has unveiled the first philanthropic effort by the retail business which is called ‘reDRESSed’.This is an advocacy program dedicated to providing dresses (and other clothing) to domestic abuse survivors.
The revelation came at a recent intimate presentation surrounding the art exhibition, ‘Stitches of Strength’ at the Paul Robeson Galleries, Express Newark, New Jersey.
The Stitches of Strength project/ artistic display is a large, multi-coloured quilt created by students, staff & faculty of Rutgers University – Newark and melded together by a local seamstress. It touches on the topics of domestic violence, sexual assault, emotional abuse and sheds light on the issues of power and control.
At the event, Dressed Up/reDRESSED mastermind Diane ‘Fury’ Wiltshire, who is a domestic abuse survivor herself, spoke on this initiative to have her business partner with a domestic abuse women’s shelter in order to dress survivors who are rebuilding their lives after escaping circumstances of abuse and re-entering the workforce.
Fury shared her own experiences of fear, shame, isolation, manipulation and being controlled and underscored the importance of showing sensitivity and empathy to persons in these vulnerable instances.
She stated, “The fabric of our lives is stitched together and I am thankful for my journey as it brought me to a place where I can now be a support system and assist other women on their path to redemption via the reDressed program”.
She added, “After I got out of my situation, one of the things I did was to ‘dress up’ myself in order to make my outside as beautiful as possible while I was healing my internal self.”
Joining Fury at this event was Taylor Miller from the Office of Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance. Taylor who is also a Confidential Sexual Violence Advocate for the County of Middlesex shared on the difficulties victims face in leaving these situations of abuse and offered advice on how to positively support persons in these scenarios.The audience which comprised of community leaders, social services professionals and university students was engaged in the presentations, shared their own experiences and was eager to learn more on the topic and about the reDRESSED program.
As excitement builds for the imminent launch of Dressed Up, Fury remains as equally focussed on this humanitarian endeavour as she is on her retail enterprise.