Everyone has their own story. Some are similar, some are different…but at the end of the day they still connect us, survivors! Our stories don’t define us, and they should never be compared.

Mine started back in high school, during my junior year. I finally started to put myself out there into the dating world and I got into my first real relationship. “Yay me,” I thought. Right… not. That boy ended up betraying me, my trust, and my innocence! After being sexually assaulted, I honestly didn’t know what to do. I kept it a secret for many years. I didn’t have much strength, self-love, or confidence. I was used to being manipulated, controlled and degraded… among other things.

After enduring multiple emotionally and mentally abusive relationships, I found out about The Younique Foundation and their retreat. A safe haven for women who were sexually abused as children or adolescents! To be honest, I didn’t even know a place like this even existed. But let me tell you, it was like a dream!

I attended The Haven Retreat in Utah in November 2019 and it was by far the most incredible life-changing experience I could ever have. From the environment, to the food, and all of the incredible people. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to start my healing journey. Being in that beautiful space made each and every one of us feel so safe! I now have sisters from all over the world, women who understand me, empower me, and trust me. We did so many incredible activities together, but my favorite would have to be kintsugi! I broke a bowl, put it back together, made it stronger, unique, and made it even more beautiful! Beauty has no boundaries, imperfections make us beautiful, because the truth is… no one’s perfect! I cried, I learned, I grew, I loved, and I freed myself from all of that negativity in my life! I pray that all other survivors get to experience the magical healing of The Younique Foundation’s Haven Retreat!

I will say, traveling by myself for the first time was scary, but I powered through it and learned so much about myself. I overcame so many obstacles and I honestly couldn’t be more proud of myself and the beautiful woman I am today!

Thank you so much for this amazing opportunity, to the incredible founders, and to all of the wonderful donors who make this foundation and retreat possible! You are seriously changing lives!

“I believe in owning my story and loving myself through the process.” Thank you for allowing me to share my story.

-Laura, Survivor

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