News Relase: CONTACT: Carole Funger, Gala Co-Chair
Regina Varolli, Second Chance Employment Services
James Quiggle, media relations
GALA HELPS ABUSED WOMEN GAIN MEANINGFUL JOBS AND ECONOMIC FREEDOM IN RECESSION
Economic downturn spurs increase in domestic abuse nationally and in D.C. area
WASHINGTON, Oct. 1, 2009—Pamela Johnson’s husband called her a leach, controlled their finances and forced her to beg for grocery money. He even refused her money for a doctor when their son fell ill. Pamela finally escaped, but lived in poverty with her three children. Today she’s a successful accountant thanks to career placement from Second Chance Employment Services.
Johnson’s life changed several years ago. But often-violent domestic abuse of vulnerable women like her is increasing around the U.S.—and the D.C. area—during today’s recession. To help abused women secure life-changing careers and economic independence, Second Chance Employment Services held the “Last Kiss of Summer” charity gala September 24 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington.
The keynote speaker was activist and actress Louise Stratten. Her sister—actress and Playboy Playmate Dorothy Stratten—died a terrifying death that shocked the nation when Dorothy’s controlling husband tortured, shot and killed her.
Founded by Dr. Ludy Green in 1991, Second Chance is America’s only private nonprofit agency focusing on helping abused women from around the U.S. gain meaningful positions with full health benefits. Quality jobs that create financial independence, experts agree, form the lifeline that allows victimized women to permanently escape the gravitational pull of abuse. More than 600 women have found career-track positions through Second Chance.
The “Last Kiss” gala helped Second Chance continue providing free support, including: meaningful jobs via Second Chance’s corporate partners and other networks…job training…resume-writing and interviewing skills…translation services…business apparel.
Second Chance even provides free dental work, cosmetic surgery and psychological counseling for women who were severely beaten and traumatized.
Abuse of women by husbands, live-in partners and boyfriends is an ongoing societal ill, but has increased in many areas of the U.S. during this recession, experts say.
Several Washington-area agencies also report recent increases—making domestic abuse of women a local recession-related issue.
Women from high-income suburban households to low-income urban minority families are victimized. Some women are even prisoners of human trafficking.
Abused women often have few jobs skills and have little or no money to build new lives. Even women with impressive career backgrounds and advanced degrees may lack the confidence to leave often-violent relationships.
With many government social-service agencies slashing budgets in this recession, private nonprofits such as Second Chance play a vital and growing role in helping at-risk women gain meaningful jobs that allow them to lead independent, abuse-free lives.