“Treat others as yourself, what you sew into others is what you will reap in your life,” says Trish Steele, who founded Safe Passage (1992), a division of a nonprofit corporation, Women Crowned in Glory, Inc., that is dedicated to transforming the lives of women and their children who have become victims of domestic violence.
Domestic violence encompasses all acts of violence against women and children within the context of family or intimate relationships. It is not confined to any one socioeconomic type, ethnicity, religion or age group. Through the help of volunteer plastic surgeons, cosmetic dentists, professional counseling therapists, career counselors and health and image specialists, Safe Passage offers support and assistance for women recovering from domestic violence. Every effort is given to help these victims regain their sense of self and rediscover their place in society. Safe Passage takes care of finding abused women housing, furniture and clothing, and going beyond what the shelters can provide, which is only temporary relief. “It’s very traumatic for women who check into shelters,” explains Steele. “Almost half of these women have never worked. Many are badly scarred. Some have lost their teeth. Safe Passage fixes broken noses, broken teeth and gives battered women life-changing makeovers.”
Safe Passage depends on community involvement. The City of Los Angeles awarded Mrs. Steele with a “Certificate of Appreciation” by Council Member Wendy Greuel and Dennis Zine for her outstanding citizenship and activities enhancing community betterment. Safe Passage welcomes donations, and is in need of any business clothing, computers and beauty products.
Safe Passage has teamed up with Inspire Me Defense and the winners of Miss California Latina, Vivian Valadez, and Miss Teen California Latina, Bianca Mettler-Lopez. The three organizations staged the event “Evolve into Your Power,” which was held on August 15 and 16. Kiko Ellsworth, actor and creator of Inspire Me Defense, instructed women and girls on practical and powerful self-defense skills. Jennifer Rodriguez, the state director of Miss California Latina, shares their similar mission “to celebrate beauty, style and cultural heritage, emphasizing the opportunity for personal development while serving the community.”
Maybe we can all benefit from the encouraging words of Trish Steele, “You are unique and fearfully and wonderfully made, so let your light shine. We are all brilliant on the inside.” And if beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then Trish Steele has held us captive, and will do so, for a long time to come.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and Steele is already gaining momentum for her cause. Safe Passage is inviting businesses to join them for October’s events.
For more information on Safe Passage, contact Trish Steele at (818) 232-7476, or visit their Web site www.safepassagehome.org. Inspire Me Defense can be reached at wwwIAmKiko.com. For information on the Latina Beauty Pageant, go to their Web site at www.misscalifornialatina.com.
Ms. Robbins is a freelance writer, author and publicist. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org