Inaugural Lean In & Let Go Workshop Empowers Female Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse Victims

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Local Facilitator Fontella Moody and Speakers Share Their Personal Stories

Fontella Moody is one victim of thousands who has suffered from domestic violence and sexual assault. As a result, she is convicted to share her story and help empower – along with five local nonprofit organizations –women who have, or are experiencing domestic violence and/or sexual abuse in Charles County, MD, to find and create the life they desire in a free, inaugural Lean In & Let Go™ workshop August 20. (The time and location remain confidential given the sensitivity of personal identities.)

Domestic violence and sexual assault is not only an epidemic across the United States, but also in Maryland. The state ranks #17 nationally for domestic violence, according to the National Domestic Hotline, which managed 3,582 calls in 2015. The Children's Advocacy Centers in Maryland reported 3,041 child-related sexual abuse cases alone in 2013 and 1,169 actual forcible rapes. Nationally, the statistics are breathtaking. One in five women report sexual assault, according to a New York Times article and a woman is beaten every nine seconds, reports the Huffington Post.

The collaborative efforts of this group are unprecedented in Charles County. Nonprofit partners – all of which serve victims throughout Charles County (population 152,864 – 2013 U.S. Census) - include the Center for Abused Persons (CAP); Catherine Foundation; Catholic Charities’ Angel’s Watch Shelter; Lifestyles, Inc.; and SLS Ministries, Inc.’s Metamorphosis. It is Lean In & Let Go’s™ mission to positively impact the lives of local women victims of domestic violence and/or sexual abuse as they often go hand-in-hand. To do this, they offer support and love, as well as provide a safe, fun and creative workshop to imagine the new life they can create for themselves.

“Together, we believe we can make a difference,” says Moody, who will provide complementary copies of her first book, titled Lean In & Let Go,™ to the workshop attendees. The book will be published and publicly available on Amazon later this month. “We know and have experienced first hand that when we are not alone, our lives matter and when we release shame, blame and guilt we have the power to transform our lives in a new direction.”

Lean In & Let Go™ has also received support from the local business community. Partners who are contributing in-kind and/or financial donations to keep this event free of charge include: Erin Antroinen, Mary Kay; Maryanna Lanham, New York Life; Panera Bread; Crica Life Images; Nails & Faces of Joy Spa; Barefoot Graphics; Radiology Imaging & Associates and Cakes by Tracey.

To register and learn details for the event, call or reach out to Lifestyles Inc. at (301) 609-9900 ext. 300, or any of the community partners.

A private, nonprofit agency, which provides on-going professional counseling, support services and emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse.

Serves men and women of Southern Maryland so that pregnancy, including those from rape or sexual abuse, does not have to be a crisis.

Provides a source and place where women and their children fleeing domestic violence or homelessness in southern Maryland can temporarily stay,

Supports people in crisis by providing emergency assistance, including referrals for health and human services needs.

Provides financial support to obtain safe, temporary shelter in a motel or helps with a deposit to obtain permanent shelter.

Fontella Moody owns a State Farm Insurance Agency in Waldorf, MD. Her mission is to help clients thrive financially through financial empowerment and education. She hosts the Dream Queen Association’s monthly women’s empowerment luncheon in White Plains; actively volunteers in her community, as well as hosts free educational seminars open to the pubic. Her first book, Lean & Let Go,™ will be published and available on Amazon later this month.

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Christina Motley
Christina Motley LLC
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