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SCSQUARED halfBy Eric Heinz

Members of a nonprofit organization that raises awareness for support of sexual abuse survivors will host an event—the Warrior Festival—at the Outlets at San Clemente on Saturday, July 30. The founder and executive director of the organization, Amanda Zarate, said the group plans to take the largest-ever group selfie in support of sexual abuse survivors.

All proceeds from the festival will be used to help Fighting for Me provide professional counseling for survivors for free.

“Fighting for Me created a campaign similar to the ALS challenge,” Zarate said. “The war paint campaign gives people a chance to paint red on their faces and take selfies with hashtags such as “#worthfighting4.”

Zarate said she hopes the campaign will give a voice to people who are afraid to come forward and help combat sexual assault.

Along with the event, Zarate hopes to get support from the community to help encourage state legislation that would provide assistance to sexual abuse survivors.

She started the program in 2012.

“I got it off the ground by speaking with people, and one person would give me information and advice, another person had time to see clients, and we have a network of people who made it possible,” Zarate said.

Zarate said she is a sexual abuse survivor herself.

“When I went to see a therapist, it was incredibly expensive and it takes a long time to get through all the trauma,” she said. “I knew instantly I wanted to help other sexual abuse survivors and it makes it easier for them to overcome the obstacles and barriers they have to live a happy life. When you’re dignity and your voice and your humanity have been stripped away from you, it’s almost impossible.”

Zarate said she wants to thank Argosy University-Orange County campus for financially backing the event.

Online registration for the event costs $5 and includes a raffle ticket. The festival will last from noon to 5 p.m. and includes activities, a raffle and performances from local artists. For more information on the Warrior Festival, visit or contact Zarate at 949.212.6476.

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