Approximately one in three adolescent girls in the United States is a victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner. Globally, at least one woman out of four women, has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime, usually the abuser is someone close to her. Every nine seconds a woman is battered. Every six hours a woman is battered to death.

The Hopes and Dreams Foundation (HAD Found), which was founded in 1999 is a grassroots organization that works to assist the community in the fight against abuse.

“It is our aim to help to stop the cycle of abuse, and make the surrounding environment a safer place for our children to grow, while developing healthy relationships,” said Arja Langdon, a representative for the organization. “A healthy home is a happy home in which we can foster healthy, happy children. Our mission is to assist in the crusade against the intergenerational cycle of domestic abuse and to provide safe environments for the families within the communities we serve.”

HAD Found’s goal is to promote healthy family relationships, develop leaders, encourage independence through education and personal development, facilitate the creation of opportunities for short- and long-term employment as well as provide affordable housing opportunities for low to moderate income families.

“It is our aim to build strong communities through empowering victims of abuse by assisting them with establishing necessary skills for employment and building or rebuilding individual’s sense of self-confidence, self-worth, and self-esteem,” said Langdon. “We are tireless in our effort to help with the development of women and youths; mentally, emotionally, financially and physically.”

Research shows that economic dependency is the strongest predictor of survivor’s of domestic violence decision to remain, leave or return to an abusive relationship–it’s even stronger than physical safety issues. HAD Found’s public awareness campaigns, community development, and personal growth programs are helping to educate and empower victims while at the same time serving as tools to reduce the incidence of domestic violence in the community. HAD Found is committed to using these development, growth and empowerment strategies to assist in the crusade to ultimately eliminate the cycle of violence.

The Foundation serves people of all races, creeds and religions. HAD Found’s work to support survivors of domestic violence reflects its commitment to making all communities safer places to live.

This Saturday, June 16, from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. the Hopes and Dreams Foundation will host free workshops for the community. Workshops will include self-esteem, self-defense, teen dating and violence, bullying, leadership, financial literacy, design and fashion, health and nutrition and more. Supporters include B.O.T.C.H. Foundation, Taylr Jay Fashion, 3D Sports Academy, JWB Foundation, World Vision and others. The event will be held at Compton Adult School at 1104 E 148th St., Compton, with special celebrity appearances, live music and entertainment.

For more information on the Hopes and Dreams Foundation, visit the organization’s website at www.hadfound.com.