After a particularly difficult divorce, reality star Bethenny Frankel was inspired to help women in similar situations. So she’s teaming up with Dress for Success to create a new initiative called B Strong: Find Your Yes, Us Weekly reports. The organization will offer life coaching, financial assistance, crisis intervention and education to 10 to 15 women in the NYC area next year, with hopes to expand worldwide.
“It’s hard and I want to get off the ride, but I know that I have to just get on and keep fighting to help other people,” the former Real Housewives of New York City star told Us. “You can easily have a happy divorce where you are still family. I don’t understand why this would happen to me, but this charity will maybe be the reason.”
Frankel felt “beaten down and frustrated” on the other side of a costly four-year divorce from Jason Hoppy, which was finalized in July, she told the publication. The process of divorce included extremely difficult elements — for example, Frankel and Hoppy continued to live together for a time, which created hostile living conditions. But Frankel found that she is far from alone in this type of situation. “I have had women say to me, ‘It’s been six years since my divorce ended and I am still being tortured,’” Frankel said. “It never ends, and I imagine there are millions and millions more than the women I have spoken to. I want to be a voice of empowerment.”
So she took it upon herself to reach out to Dress for Success, a nonprofit organization that provides professional clothing, networking and career assistance to women, helping them to become economically independent and self-sufficient. B Strong will build upon those offerings, Frankel said: “It’s for women in abusive situations, women at a crossroads, women in dire straits financially.”
Dress for Success is available in 21 countries around the world, and Frankel hopes to eventually grow to match that wide range. For now, Frankel hopes to be a voice of empowerment for women. “The thread is women being open, getting counseling and speaking out,” she said. “There needs to be a positive female conversation — for someone to stand up and say, ‘We got this.’”