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Fashion Show Helps Raises Money and Awareness for Local Shelter | News

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Fashion Show Helps Raises Money and Awareness for Local Shelter

Leaving in the middle of the night from an abusive relationship, many women and children don't take many belongings looking for somewhere to turn.

The Shade Tree is that place and now Southern Nevada's largest battered women's shelter says it is witnessing a new level of violence. So Saturday night charities teamed up to give these women one thing many of us takes for granted.

Models worked the runway Saturday night at The Orleans Hotel, showing off their creative shoes.

They're raising money for Shade Tree. On any one night, 300 women and children seek shelter there. Many of them are victims of violent physical abuse.

"The stories that we've been hearing lately are years and years of abuse and battery and the physical damage they're coming in with is so much worse than what we've seen in the past. We're glad they're coming in because we know their next step could be homicide," said Marlene Richter, Executive Director of The Shade Tree.

That's where the Shoes of Imagination Design House of Las Vegas steps in. They figured their shoes may be impractical for abuse victims, but they could hold a fashion show encouraging people to donate their own used shoes, and in turn give the event proceeds to the women of Shade Tree.

"To maybe get a job by furnishing them a pair of shoes, or having kids shoes, because they're placed in situations they shouldn't be in. Sometimes, they leave in the middle of the night and they don't have shoes," said Vicki Seawell, Shoes of Imagination.

Shade Tree needs the help even more with an unforeseen spike in the number of people seeking help.

"We saw just about a two week dip and we wondered what was going on, and we heard the tax refunds had come in, so instead of coming in to shelter , the women were just moving in to apartments on their own or with friends, but in the last 10 days, we've seen that fall off completely," said Richter.

In the last five days alone, shade tree has seen seven women come in, victims of domestic violence.

And while holiday season is usually thought of as the worst times of the year when it comes to domestic violence, even the veterans of Shade Tree were surprised by the brief positive effects of tax refund time, and the unfortunate end of that empowering period of time.