By Cherri Gregg


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A new effort to stomp out sexual abuse is taking the cause to the catwalk. Stomp the Runway is returning to Philadelphia.

“I’m trying to let people know that it’s okay to speak out about it and guess what– you’re not alone,” says Rashad Corey, of Rashad Corey Productions.

He started the event in 2012 when his friend, and model Vanessa Banks was murdered by her boyfriend.

“She was so close to me that we thought we had to do something in fashion– so we said hey- she’s known the slay the runway, so we have to stomp, rip or the slay the runway against something,” he says.

Back then models “stomped the runway” against domestic abuse for Vanessa. But after a four year hiatus, it’s personal.

“My entire teenage years and my early adult life I spent trying to recover from being sexual abuse by my former pastor,” says Corey, who adds he was molested from age 12 to 16.
He has since gotten counseling and grown stronger, now he wants to be a voice for others.

“I used to always ask God why would you allow this to happen to me and he would always whisper in my ear and tell me that there’s a greater purpose behind it– you’re going to help people one day,” he says, “it’s time to take the zipper off the lips, end the silence and let people know it’s okay to speak about what you’ve been through.

Local celebrity models and designers will take on the catwalk to Stomp the Runway Against Sexual Abuse on August 20, 2016. Proceeds from the event will benefit Women Organized Against Abuse.

“I want to empower other individuals that they don’t have to stay a victim,” says Corey.

For more details about the event or to purchase tickets, CLICK HERE.