One in every four women in the United States is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. These women often spend decades trying to overcome the trauma they endured as children. Andrea is one such survivor.
“Nineteen years after my trauma, the effects of PTSD had manifested and I felt like I’d completely lost control. I was fortunate to start my healing with a therapist in 2016. However, I needed more, but I didn’t know what I needed,” Andrea said.
Through the help of social media, Andrea found a video about the Saprea Retreat and felt immediately she should attend.
The Saprea Retreat is free of charge to any adult female survivor who was sexually abused at or before age 18. Three weeks each month, Saprea hosts survivors from Monday to Thursday. Participants gather in one of two locations (Utah or Georgia) for an immersive experience where they learn about the impacts of trauma, apply tools to further their healing, and build a community of support. Following the retreat, survivors can receive additional education and healing services through support groups, a self-guided online course, and additional online resources.
“For me, the experience at the retreat is indescribable,” Andrea said. “I was able to learn what happens to survivors of childhood and adolescent sexual trauma. I learned coping skills and gained confidence. I realized I’m not alone.”
Since Saprea’s inception in 2014, Saprea has hosted 4,643 survivors at the retreat. Saprea wants all survivors to find the healing and support they need. “It’s our mission to give survivors the power to change their futures,” said Shelaine Maxfield, Saprea’s founder, and board chair.
Since completing the retreat, Andrea feels more connected to herself. “I feel confident. I love me! I haven’t been able to say that for a very long time. I am a survivor. I am reclaiming hope. I am strong, beautiful, and worthy of love and happiness,” she said.
Saprea also offers an online healing webinar to help adult female survivors of child sexual abuse jumpstart their healing from home. Offered twice a month, the healing webinar is a 4.5-hour interactive and educational virtual experience for survivors. More details about the retreat and the healing webinar can be found at saprea.org.
- By Molly Hansen