Coach Rhonda Barton and her girls basketball team participated in A Day to Shine, Saturday afternoon at the Austin Hilton. The fashion show and gala was a fundraiser for Austin Safe Place’s Expect Respect program, which teaches healthy relationships and raises awareness of physical abuse towards women. Safe Place notes that one in three adolescents in the United States will be a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner.
The team attended as guests of Margaret Walker, a silver sponsor for Safe Place. The ladies heard the keynote address from former Dallas Cowboys defender Chad Hennings, who recalled seeing domestic issues that involved his teammates. He urged the attendees to be more aware of the signs of abuse and to demand respect from their partners.
“We all left with a different mindset,” said Junior Juanita Castillo. “We heard women tell stories of being abuse victims and it made us more cautious and aware of possible warning signs.”
— by Juanita Castillo