ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – From a new pair of shoes to skincare, the non-profit Freedom and Fashion empowers women and kids overcoming domestic violence, sex trafficking, and other injustices. For executive director and New Mexico native Laverne Delgado, the mission is personal.
“I’m a survivor of domestic violence and I’ve gone through sexual assault growing up,” said Delgado. “I identify with the clients and the women that we serve.”
The organization works with brands and influencers to donate luxury clothing, hygiene products, and essential goods to survivors. Delgado says the simplest acts like taking care of your skin or hair can begin the healing process.
“Regardless of what economic class you’re in, girls are girls, women are women,” said Delgado. “We love to feel good about ourselves.”
This weekend, they’re spreading that good feeling in Albuquerque at the Barrett House. While not actively serving as a domestic violence safe house, they do provide shelter to women and children facing homelessness from all kinds of traumatizing events.
“We are a shelter and we serve between 35 and 40 women and children every night,” said Heather Hoffman, executive director of the Barrett Foundation. “We have folks who are cooped up, feeling a little down, morale might be sagging a little bit, harder to get in contact with those services, that sort of thing.”
Hoffman says a surprise like this can mean the world to those in the shelter. Freedom and Fashion hopes to surprise other survivors in the area this weekend.
“We are always, always astounded by the caring hearts of others and the way folks think of us,” said Hoffman. “This additional fun thing to put in front of folks is just absolutely fabulous and we greatly appreciate it for sure.”
Delgado also hopes getting the conversation going about traumas like violence can heal families moving forward. “The strongest chains we have are the ones we put on ourselves so there’s no shame in domestic violence,” said Delgado.
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, there are resources and help available through the National Domestic Violence Hotline.