Monthly vendor event in Fresno aims to help victims of domestic violence

The organizer's motivation is personal - her close friend, Missy Hernandez, was a victim of domestic violence.

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Sunday, August 21, 2022
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With a fitting name, the Hot August Nights pop-up event in Fresno brought hundreds of people together throughout Saturday evening.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Fresno woman is bringing awareness to the issue of domestic violence while also celebrating businesses owned by women.

With a fitting name, the Hot August Nights pop-up event brought hundreds of people together throughout Saturday evening.

The motivation for the event was to raise awareness about domestic violence and the resources available to help.

"I know a vendor event is maybe a place that they can go to without their abuser harassing them, I want this to be a safe space and a place they feel they can reach out for help," said event coordinator Salina Barbo.

The gathering was outside Holistic Goddess Body Sculpting and Beauty - it's something the owner says she's wanted to organize for a long time and found the perfect partner in Salina.

"With Salina, without her support, I probably wouldn't be this far because she's a voice, she spoke for me, she understood the assignment for real. We came together and it's great," said Nina Aquino.

Salina's motivation is personal - her close friend, Missy Hernandez, was a victim of domestic violence.

RELATED: 'Her story wasn't over yet': Loved ones grieve for Missy Hernandez at Fresno vigil

Missy sold crystals at vendor events just like this one.

She went missing after an arts event in downtown Fresno last December -- her body was found at the beginning of this year.

"Missy is with me everyday because each of these people know who I am and Missy's name," said Barbo.

A vendor herself, Salina says everything she does is in honor of Missy.

They handed out fliers and information from the Marjoree Mason Center and had resources available to help women start their own businesses and buy their own homes.

"We don't want anybody to be suffering silently so we're hoping that with all the women coming together that we'll all help each other in that way," said Barbo.

Barbo said she plans to bring back the event once a month.

If you are the victim of domestic abuse, or you know someone who is, there is help available 24/7. In Fresno County, call the Marjaree Mason Center at (559) 233-4357. In all other locations, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-7233.