My name is Angela Lowe, I myself am a survivor of domestic abuse. I hate the word victim as I am a survivor and proud of where I am. Because of my own experience, It has made me want to help others overcome what has happened to them and move forward. I use my experience to help educate others.
I started True Butterflies as a social media page, I wanted to have a space where people who are or have experienced abuse can come and talk to one another, without been judged. Its has grown from a page, to a group, to a not for profit and now a charity. It has taken work and dedication to build our charity to where we are, and I am very proud of it.
We are a successful, growing organisation in Cornwall, with an ambition now to extend our expertise to support more vulnerable people. We have now created a beautiful space for support and therapies that will enable us to offer a variety of help and support.
Families and especially children who experience domestic abuse will often feel a mixture of emotions from anger, vulnerability, helplessness, guilt and fear. This will manifest into a change of behaviours which can result in a low attainment in school, isolation from peers and re-victimisation as a result of emotional outbursts. It is vital that as well as the adults, the children receive their own support and therapy tailored to them. It is understandable to have high levels of emotional, psychological and physical distress following domestic abuse. It can cause friction in a family and disrupt their ability to function normally. It can cause fear for each other’s safety, anger towards each other and blame for what has happened. Resulting in arguments, night mares and social isolation, to name just a few.
If these effects are not addressed and support is not given, there is sufficient evidence showing it will have an ongoing impact in their lives. This will leave them unable to cope when faced with challenging events, when problems can feel overwhelming and impossible to handle. This often leads to unhealthy choices, such as drug and alcohol, as coping mechanisms. Children who witness domestic abuse have a higher likelihood of participating in risk taking behaviours,and use criminal and antisocial behaviours as a coping mechanism and a cry for help. By focusing on the family unit as a whole, through our various workshops, we are able to bring the family together in addressing the lasting effects of domestic abuse in a safe and positive environment, giving the family unit a chance to address the physical and emotional harm domestic abuse causes and reduce the likelihood of falling into antisocial and criminal behaviours, mitigating risk taking behaviours.
We aim to help family members who have shared this distressing time to support one another and reinforce the family bond, empowering them to move forward together.
This will be initially achieved through our workshop programme including support from our fully trained volunteers, who have their own experiences of domestic abuse. This is delivered through one to one work within the workshops with mentors, counsellors, martial art and cosplay tutors. We will also be offering after care support through mentoring and therapy which focusses on one to one work.
Help us give families that experienced abuse the support they need, give people the tools to go forward with their lives, free, independent and a new lust for life.
We are aiming to raise £10,000.