October is Domestic Violence Awareness month and MoShay LaRen, an admired, nationally accredited radio host and producer, is passionate about increasing domestic violence awareness in the Philadelphia area. As a survivor of domestic violence, she encourages young people to have a higher regard for self‐preservation and self‐esteem through her “Love Yourself Campaign.”
“I am a survivor,” explained LaRen. “I went through teen dating abuse from the time I was 14 until I was 20. It was after I had my daughter that I finally got the nerve, got the strength, to get out. So, it wasn’t something that I automatically started speaking out about. In fact, as soon as I got out of it, I kind of remained quiet about it. It was five years ago that I started speaking about about it. I was on the radio, and at that time, I had been on the radio for 11 years and I was feeling kind of antsy in my service to my community, like I wasn’t doing enough and there was more to life. These are the things that happen when you start to grow up, and you think about how you can serve a greater good.”
LaRen credits her former radio colleague, the late E. Steven Collins, for encouraging her to participate in community outreach programs — and it was then that she unveiled the horror of her earlier situation and decided to give voice those who suffered, like her, in silence.
“I would travel around with him and see all the wonderful things he was doing and started doing a little bit of everything, from feeding the homeless to talking to girls in schools and all kinds of community service efforts,” recalled LaRen. “Still, I was feeling that there was more that I could do. So, I meditated about it a little bit more and I finally realized that the service platform that I needed to put a lot of work and time in. I started to dig up this stuff from the past and my journey through domestic violence and questioned whether I wanted to go back and remove that scar tissue. As I shared a little bit and started to get feedback from people — the letters, the phone calls — I started to share a little more and realized I am not the only one. Then it became clear: I am supposed to share my life, my story, my journey to encourage, to inspire and empower.”
Today, LaRen sits on the board for the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
On Oct. 26, she will present “Voices of Domestic Violence: Dance, Music and Monologues” a theatrical production at Freedom Theatre, 1346 N. Broad St., with two shows, at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. The annual theatrical production starring Tony-nominated performer Sheryl Lee Ralph and R&B singer KeKe Wyatt gives depictions of various people and relationships affected by witnessing and experiencing domestic violence. The production will also feature a special dance performance by the famed Philadelphia dance school Philadanco. Tickets are $25 (General Admission); $40 (VIP plus after show “Meet & Greet”).
For more information, visit www.Voicesofdomesticviolence.com or call (877) 407-6355.