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Survivor small groups

This year we tried something new. We created a few small groups of survivors. To start with we adapted the Kintsugi Hope wellbeing course. But after this course finished, one of the groups has continued meeting together in community. The truth is, we never want to go back. These groups are powerful, effective and survivors are finding healing in ways unexpected. This is one of our proudest achievements to date.

We just wanted to share with you some of the quotes from the Survivor's in these groups.

At last, after many years of searching, I have found ‘my people’. Friends who have been through abuse, who struggle with the same things that I do. That have the same questions about faith that I do. They have been struck down and have risen again like I have. But now, instead of being a small voice, commonly misunderstood. I am now part of a group, a growing army of Survivors who can say ‘me too’, ‘that happened to me’, ‘I understand without explaining’. I have been able to bring my vulnerabilities because at last I have found a safe space.

— Survivor attending small group —

I have found a safe space where my fellow Survivors have encouraged and built each other up. I have found the power of ‘me too’ incredible. We have found common ground in many areas of our lives. We have been able to express ourselves in ways that we never could before.

— Survivor attending small group —

This group has been life changing, so precious, like an anchor. The group lifts up my head and gives me strength for another week.

— Survivor attending small group —

I prayed, I despaired of ever finding community......then in a late-night desperate search on the internet for help for Christian women who survive domestic abuse.....I found Restored. I wept with relief, I took a risk and called out to them.... the light became stronger, strong enough for me to see the next step........then, slowly, others came and sat with me.... they offered no judgment, just compassion and understanding. In their nods and words I found acceptance.

— Survivor attending small group —

I was loved, cared for, seen and heard. I understood for the first time that I wasn’t alone, I’m not alone, my experience isn’t unique, I am part of a sisterhood....I belong. Restored are part of God's plan for healing and restoration for me and my life. They are my people. I thank my God every single day for them.

— Survivor attending small group —

It has meant friendship, support and understanding from an amazing, diverse group of women, each of whom can walk with me along this path of pain in a way that those who have not travelled it cannot.

We have shared agony, despair, fun and laughter; hopes, fears and plans. We have shared our lives in a way I did not think possible. I came to the group with low expectations, feeling that I was too old, that I would not fit in to any group, and that I did not deserve to have a place.

I have been heard, accepted and loved. The group have listened and shared, as we have learned together, travelling forward in tiny steps, so that I find to my astonishment I have moved from where I was to a new place. Not everything is healed, not everything is ‘better’, but there is progress; I am valued, and I shall always know that there are other people out there who ‘get it’.

— Survivor attending small group —

Esther Sweetman, our Project Specialist explains that the whole Survivor network provides two important things for survivors' of domestic abuse:

Information that empowers them

Community that supports them

These are two crucial and critical things that people need when they're overcoming trauma, overcoming perhaps the worst period of their entire life and moving towards a period of recovery and becoming whole again.

We have seen that, through small groups we are seeing survivors find healing on a different level.