Domestic abuse survivor helping other victims make fresh start with new wardrobes

Jun 17, 2022, 8:08 AM | Updated: 8:09 am

SALT LAKE CITY — A new wardrobe can mean a fresh start for domestic violence survivors, and one Utah woman who left her abuser has transformed her closet into a resource women can pull from to get their confidence back.

“I left with nothing but what I had with my daughter and a couple of little bags,” said McKayla Julian with the Pretty Tough Ladies Resource Center.

With no money and no support, Julian turned to a place that provided business clothing for survivors of domestic violence, looking for a job.

“It gave me hope,” she said. “It made me realize there are women out there who are willing to empower other women.”

Two years later, the now-married mother of two is offering women and children in need a free place to shop — out of her West Jordan home.

“They’ll come in and get a basket. Each shopper that comes in gets five tops or dresses and five bottoms and then one pair of shoes,” Julian said.

There’s also clothes for children, strollers and toys and hygiene items — all donated by the community.

She calls it the Pretty Tough Ladies Resource Center.

“I’ve always considered myself a pretty tough lady,” Julian said. “And that was something that really caught on.”

Julian added that she draws strength from the women she meets.

“A lot of them have been pretty open about their stories so it’s been really inspiring.”

With each article of clothing, Julian wants them to reclaim their dignity and dream big.

“I would like them to know that there’s hope. There’s always a light in the world whether it feels like it or not.”

Right now, she serves about 40 women a week at the resource center and plans to accommodate more by expanding the operation.

The first step is applying for nonprofit status, and they’re holding a fundraiser on Saturday to help pay for the application costs. It runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 2768 W. Julie Ann Way in West Jordan.

You can also make a donation on their GoFundMe page.*

For more info on store address, hours and when you can drop off donations, you can visit their Facebook page. There’s also information there on how you can volunteer for them.

Domestic violence resources

If you or someone you know is going through abuse, help is available.

  • The Utah Domestic Violence Coalition operates a confidential statewide, 24-hour domestic abuse hotline at 1-800-897-LINK (5465).
  • Resources are also available online at the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition website.

There are several ways the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition can help people. Previous examples include providing financial assistance for funerals, for moving, for a variety of things, counseling that help people find a different path or stay healthy and safe and the relationship they’re in.

*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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