Shop to Stop Domestic Violence

If there is one thing Boston College has plenty of, it’s men and women who are dedicated to serving the community. Inspired by a combined love of fashion and passion for helping others, Tahira Benjamin, A&S ’17, will host a shopping event at the Vince store at The Street in Chestnut Hill this Friday from 6-8pm to benefit REACH Beyond.

REACH Beyond is a non-profit organization that provides support and shelter to victims of domestic abuse. Attendees of this event will enjoy 10% off of their full-priced purchase, and 10% of all proceeds will go to REACH Beyond.

Photo courtesy of REACH Beyond Domestic Violence / Facebook

Photo courtesy of REACH Beyond Domestic Violence / Facebook

According to Benjamin, the Waltham-based organization is an “inclusive domestic violence service agency serving 6,000 people a year through a combination of support and prevention services.” Women, children and families are offered therapy, training programs for friends and family, shelter and other services to help break the cycle of domestic violence.

REACH Beyond is dedicated to supplying refuge to survivors, providing education to prevent future abusive situations, advocating for the safety of survivors and sparking change in the community to end domestic violence altogether through education and early intervention.

Although she does not work directly with REACH Beyond as a volunteer, Benjamin, a fashion blogger, wanted to both promote her blog, l-addict.com, and benefit an organization that helps so many others in the community by publicizing them to the BC community and supplying them with donations.

Photo courtesy of Vince. / Facebook

Photo courtesy of Vince. / Facebook

“I was thinking about ways to not only get my name out there but to make a fun event for BC students and bring their families into it as well,” Benjamin said. “I had also wanted to throw an event for fun, really, but I also wanted to make it meaningful, so I figured there would be no better way than to bring attention to a really good organization that works locally to help about 6,000 women and families in terms of offering inclusive, preventative care for domestic violence victims.”

At the event, Benjamin aims to provide information about REACH Beyond’s services, as well as open up a conversation about relationships in all of our lives, both romantic and platonic. She feels that it is important to know what a healthy relationship is, and--perhaps more importantly--how to identify and intervene in unhealthy relationships in our own and our loved ones’ lives.

“I think we underestimate how much relationships affect us, especially at this age where we feel so invincible and at this school where we feel like everyone around us means well, but it’s not always that way,” Benjamin said.

Photo courtesy of REACH Beyond Domestic Abuse / Facebook

Photo courtesy of REACH Beyond Domestic Abuse / Facebook

In addition to the educational aspect of Friday night’s event, Benjamin wants to create a fun atmosphere for BC students and their families to shop. Tara West, a personal stylist, will be available to help with picking out things to buy, and snacks and music will be provided.

Benjamin will also be photographing the event for her blog, which she started earlier this year as a result of her interest in fashion, which she plans to lead her to a career in the fashion industry.

“A lot of my friends have helped me with [starting the blog], and I’m so happy to have them supporting me through this process,” Benjamin said. “This event will be celebrating having done the blog, having all the support from friends and family and will just be a really fun event for BC in the name of shopping.”

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