Women’s Empowerment Expo

Young women are empowered at conference

Attendees smiled and laughed as Tragil Wade encouraged the crowd.

“Freedom looks good on me,” a young woman proudly sang at the Women’s Empowerment Expo on Saturday, while women and even some men clapped and sang along.
The event, which was held at the Overtown Youth Center and sponsored by the Adding Doses of Hope Daily (ADHD) Foundation, was created to bring awareness to domestic violence and to also encourage, empowerment and elevate women.
Donata Joseph, director of the event and of the ADHD foundation, survived a 7-year physically abusive marriage and was proud to share that “she made it out.”
“I’m taking my mess and turning it into a message,” she said to the audience.

Donata Joseph and Marilande Emile, her cousin, shed tears while Maha Adachi recited a poem about an abusive relationship.

Her message was informative and helpful to numerous attendees.  Jacqueline M. Dawson, M.S., mental health and substance abuse therapist, spoke of warning signs of abusive relationships, saying that abusive relationships are all about power and control.  She shared alarming statistics of domestic violence, such as 1 in 4 women have been affected by domestic violence.
Dawson spoke of different types of abuse, like physical, verbal, sexual and financial. She encouraged women who were in abusive relationships to call 211 for help on escaping.  She said when leaving an abusive relationship women must have a safety plan.

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