Alpharetta nonprofit The Younique Foundation is offering a free, healing retreat for women who survived child sexual abuse.
The Haven Retreat is free of charge to any survivor who was sexually abused at or before age 18. Three weeks each month, the foundation hosts survivors from Monday to Thursday.
Participants gather in Dawson County for an immersive experience — to learn, reflect and rejuvenate. At the retreat, the women can participate in a variety of activities to help them learn how to heal from the trauma of sexual abuse. Following the retreat, survivors can receive additional education and support through online materials and support groups.
“The survivor may be working, raising families, and contributing to their communities. Despite these successes, they are still affected, often deeply, by what happened in their past,” president of The Younique Foundation Shelaine Maxfield said.
One in every four women is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. These women often spend decades trying to overcome the trauma they endured as children.
Trudy is one such survivor.
“Child sexual abuse is a type of pain that embeds itself into your soul,” Trudy said. “I didn’t realize how deep the pain and trauma went. I had locked it away for years. However, I started to really delve in and work to heal in my mid-20s. I thought I had healed.”
Trudy recalls attending the retreat and having “a life-changing experience.”
“I needed this retreat to really take a closer look at myself and understand how this particular type of abuse can damage a child and change the brain chemistry,” Trudy said. “It gave me a deeper appreciation for all that I have overcome.“
Since completing the retreat, Trudy has been inspired to be a bigger voice for those who are unable to speak and to continue to help others heal and grow.
“Abuse does not need to dictate who we are for the rest of our lives,” she said.
The Younique Foundation wants all survivors to find healing so they can begin to reach their full potential rather than be defined by events from their past.
“The Haven Retreat helps women find hope in themselves and in their future,” Maxfield said.
The retreat is open to survivors and they are invited to apply. More details about the retreat and the application process can be found at youniquefoundation.org. In light of COVID-19, all health and safety precautions are being taken to provide a safe, healing environment at the retreat.