For a long time I didn’t believe that I had a purpose or that God even loved me, I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, and I am also a product of rape. I used to tell myself that if He really did love me, I wouldn’t have this horrible start in life.

With the birth of my child, triggers about my abuse started resurfacing. I knew I couldn’t go on this way. I decided to give therapy a try. As the months went by I started to see some light, my therapist called it a “healing journey,” words so foreign to me. To love myself was the hardest part to understand. I didn’t even know what that meant much less looked like. She recommended I attend The Haven Retreat. With a lot of fear in my heart, but with enough courage, I signed up.

To say it has changed my life is an understatement. I found myself, I found my purpose, and I found a spiritual side to me that I never knew. As well as a group of incredible, strong women who have been my support system since we left retreat and who I dearly call my soul sisters.

I would be lying if I said that my shift happened at retreat, in reality it happened back at home…with all the new skills I had learned and an undying faith to heaI, I am a generational cycle breaker! I know that it can be done with awareness and education. I want to represent the next generation because I am saying “yes” for change for all of us.

I am ready to get back out into my community to help children as well as their parents to break cycles of abuse because as a wife and mother I have broken them with patience and diligence. And to be honest, God gave me this story to advocate and I refuse to let Him down. After all, He never left me or stopped loving me. Thank you to THE YOUNIQUE FOUNDATION for helping me along my journey. You guys are real Angels on Earth.

I choose to HEAL.

-Sylvia, Survivor

Interested in attending The Haven Retreat?