Lighthouse Shelter to host dating violence awareness event April 19

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dating violence often hides behind texting and social media, and The Lighthouse Shelter intends to spotlight its dangers on the runway.

The Lighthouse Shelter marketing intern Alisha Lovelace has spearheaded an opportunity for youths to give back to the community and learn about dating violence. The shelter's "Dangerous" fashion show will utilize local teenage models to initiate a conversation about appropriate dating behavior.

The theme illustrates how seemingly innocent conversations and situations can escalate to violence.

"If you don't speak out, it can really turn into a very dangerous situation," she said.

As The Lighthouse Shelter has sought to decrease domestic violence and sexual assault, Executive Director Debbie Wallace has assisted an array of teenagers as well as their concerned parents.

She cited society's increased use of text-based conversations as part of the problem, and she hopes the show will teach the community to recognize inappropriate behavior.

Wallace said when face-to-face contact is plucked from a conversation, the true meaning of the text can be misconstrued. Often, jealous and controlling behaviors can segue into violence.

Lovelace and Wallace hope to empower the community youth to see the differences.

"It's an activity that shows how you look on the outside isn't always how you look on the inside, so we're going to show that through the fashion show," Wallace said.

The fashion show will showcase items from The Lighthouse Thrift Store and Factory Connection.

Lovelace will emcee, and resources will be available on site for anyone that may be in an abusive relationship.

"It's not something that everybody wants to talk about, but it's something that needs to be talked about," Wallace said. "But we can talk about it in a fun way and a serious way."

The fashion show beings at 7 p.m. on April 19 at Marshall High School. The event is free, and all are invited to attend.

Contact Maggie Menderski at mmenderski@marshallnews.com

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