You Can Leave: a Sneaker Collection Against Domestic Violence


Footwear brand Josefinas and activist Brooke Axtell

Come together to fight domestic violence through a collection of solidarity sneakers.



Brooke Axtell first shared her abuse story on a global stage at the 2015 Grammy Awards when she collaborated with singer Katy Perry and Barack Obama to address domestic violence. Now, the activist joins footwear brand Josefinas to fight domestic abuse through a collection of solidarity sneakers: for each pair sold, a woman survivor will receive life changing services like safety planning, counseling and mentoring through Brooke’s program She is Rising.

You Can Leave is Josefinas’ slogan for the campaign against domestic violence in association with Brooke Axtell. Credits: Josefinas.

You Can Leave is Josefinas’ slogan for the campaign against domestic violence in association with Brooke Axtell. Credits: Josefinas.

You Can Leave is Josefinas’ three sneaker solidarity collection, created in partnership with activist Brooke Axtell. Starting today, July 26th, proceeds of each You Can Leave pair sold online at Josefinas’ e-store will go directly towards Brooke’s program She is Rising, to support victims of domestic violence and give them the tools to start a life without abuse.

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Domestic violence is a silent crime that doesn’t choose age, race, social or economic status. 603 million women live in countries where domestic violence isn’t considered a crime. 7 in 10 women are victims of physical or sexual violence. Women between ages 15 and 44 are more likely to suffer domestic abuse then to develop cancer or have a car accident. Josefinas highlights these meaningful numbers by incorporating them into the design. The inspiration behind the brand’s special edition was a ‘how-to-care-for’ clothing label, as explained by Josefinas’ CEO, Maria Cunha: “Just like a trivial piece of clothing, it seems to be increasingly essential that every human being also come with a ‘how-to-care-for’ label, so that they are not destroyed by another person. The You Can Leave sneakers share five symbols that show ‘how-to-care-for’ and they are printed so that no one forgets that in a relationship, which should be based on love, mutual care and respect, there is no room for violence, guilt, shame, intimidation, and control.

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Sex trafficked at the age of seven and a victim of domestic violence as an adult, Brooke Axtell has made it her personal mission to help other victims heal through her program She is Rising. The You Can Leave collection is one step closer to her goal: transforming victims into leaders because “no one is born broken” according to her own words.

The ‘how-to-care-for’ label by Josefinas highlights numbers with deep meaning: 7 in 10 women experience physical or sexual violence at least once in their lifetime; the most common age for domestic violence occurs between the ages of 15 and 44; 603 million women live in countries where domestic violence isn’t considered a crime. The label also shows ‘how-to-care-for’ through symbols: no violence, no guilt, no shame, no intimidation, and no control.

The Leave sneakers (in the center with a black horizontal stripe) hide a QR Code, which symbolizes a relationship where domestic violence exists, in silence and in shame. Until leaving for good, in average, a woman tries leaving her aggressor 5 to 7 times. By the QR Code’s side is a message of hope: You Can Leave. The victim may not leave at first, but in one of those attempts she will break free and abandon her aggressor forever.

Other celebrities and activists have spoken up and joined this fight on social media. Activist Emma Murphy has been vocal about domestic violence and used her voice to create awareness. Domestic violence only happens in silence: “let’s speak up; our voice is our biggest weapon.” defends Cunha.

Josefinas You Can Leave:

o   Launch Date: August 9th, 2018


o   Price: $358

o   #YouCanLeave: survivors and supporters are welcome to contribute to the campaign with videos on social media. 


About Brooke

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At the age of seven, Brooke Axtell was sex trafficked by her male nanny whose care she was under. As an adult, Brooke was increasingly abused by her partner who eventually threatened to kill her, before she told her mother about the incident and sought help. Discovering the power of her voice, Brooke founded She is Rising, a healing community for women and girls overcoming rape, abuse and sex-trafficking. Through her mentorship programs, retreats and workshops, Brooke helps survivors become leaders. Her work as a writer, speaker, performing artist and activist has been featured in many media outlets, including the New York Times, LA Times, Rolling Stone, Time Magazine, Wall Street Journal and CNN. Her work as a human rights activist led her to speak at the 2015 Grammy Awards, The United Nations and the U.S. Institute for Peace. 

About Josefinas

Josefinas is the only shoe brand born with the purpose to inspire and empower women through flat shoes. In 2013, three women started Josefinas with the dream of inspiring other women to follow their own paths. Now Josefinas is taking it even further, helping other female leaders grow their businesses and supporting individual women in need in Rwanda. 

Since its founding, Josefinas has become a favorite among celebrities and it-girls, has won the award for Best E-commerce Brand and has become a love brand on social media. / Instagram / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest

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