MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — A Grand Strand restaurant is hosting an event to raise awareness and money for victims of domestic violence.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and Terrazza 19 in Myrtle Beach is working with the Family Justice Center to throw a Halloween costume party from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday.
Melissa Snyder works at Terrazza 19 and is helping organize the event.
She said the cause is close to her because she and her kids had to run from a violent situation a few years ago and she struggled to get out of it.
“Unfortunately, I found nowhere that could help me. There was nowhere that could help me restart my life. There was nowhere, I didn’t know anybody,” Snyder said. “It’s like plopping somebody in the middle of nowhere and like ‘survive.’ And so me and my kids were just surviving.”
Snyder said her youngest daughter’s father tried to kill her and her kids, so she did the only thing a mother could do in that situation — she ran.
She left behind her entire life and her own business. She said he stole all of her money, so she worked three to four jobs to provide for her kids.
When she escaped to Myrtle Beach, she had no idea resources like the Family Justice Center existed.
“Everything that they’re doing is what I wished somebody would have done for me,” she said. “I wish that somebody was there to help us, and there was nobody.”
Even though her situation made her a stronger person, Snyder got emotional talking about her main priority through it all.
“I had to leave to protect my kids, but I didn’t have any organization like this to help,” she said. “And what they’re doing is really helping a lot of victims and I never want to see anyone go through what I went through when I got here.”
Snyder said partnering with organizations like the Family Justice Center is important to help provide immediate help to those trying to escape.
She said tickets are $20 and include entry, spooky appetizers and a night of dancing. Part of the proceeds will go to the Family Justice Center to help people affected by domestic violence.
“If you’re not doing anything on October 27, come support an amazing cause and it’s only 20 bucks,” Snyder said. “That’s all it’s going to cost you and you get your food, you can just come out and dance and have a great time.”
Kim Parsons, the executive director of the Family Justice Center, said the money raised will have a big impact on people who have no other option.
Snyder said they’re still looking for more donations for their silent auction. To donate, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Adrianna Lawrence is a multimedia journalist at News13. Adrianna is originally from Virginia Beach, Virginia, and joined the News13 team in June 2023 after graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University in May 2023. Keep up with Adrianna on Instagram, Facebook, and X, formerly Twitter. You can also read more of her work, here.