1 in 3 women are survivors of sexual violence worldwide. Many suffer in silence without resources to support their healing or a community around them to make them feel safe and heard.
At Freely in Hope we developed The Butterfly Effect curriculum alongside survivors of sexual assault in Zambia. The curriculum aims to heal the trauma of sexual violence and provides a deeply healing, empowering, and restorative experience for survivors to connect with themselves, each other, and their Creator.
This curriculum is a step by step guide that walks you through four different experiences you can walk your community through over the course of 4-5 days. At the end of the retreat survivors will feel heard, inspired, and transformed.
This curriculum, designed for surviors and by survivors, follows four themes captured by the metamorphosis of the butterfly. Our hope is that survivors of sexual violence will be able to recognize their inherent dignity, heal from the injustice suffered, recognize the beauty of their own transformation, and heal so that healing can overflow to others.
The curriculum is presented in a way to help churches facilitate group workshops with survivors in your community.
Beauty of Transformation
Healed to Heal
Preview the curriculum
As a facilitator of this curriculum, I was amazed at how different elements of my own story emerged. Sometimes, certain aspects could be too painful to revisit because of the level of trauma experienced. But when there are more opportunities and platforms for sharing, we allow ourselves to revisit these difficult places and make peace with them. I led this curriculum with 15 women who work in prostitution. This curriculum was a great way to reconnect with them through our shared stories. They discovered elements in their stories that we had never heard before. Seeing them share was the beginning of healing and liberation. I see this curriculum helping many survivors put words to their experiences and build resilience through sharing. This curriculum does not only focus on the trauma, but it allows us to discover our God-given purpose after trauma. Because one of the steps of the curriculum is to share how they’ve been transformed and how they are living their purpose, the process challenged participants to dream of what the future could look like for them. A few months ago, I had asked these same women what their dreams were and most of them said they did not know or didn’t have dreams. Their work in prostitution was all that they knew. They had allowed their experiences and surroundings to limit their capacity to dream, but through this process, they were able to hear other people’s stories of how they are transforming their pain into purpose.
Program Manager, Kenya
This curriculum was designed for Freely in Hope by survivors, for survivors:
Rebecca Crook • Jean Nangwala • Magdalene Chikanya
Funded by The Forum for Theological Exploration
This curriculum helped me learn to accept the past and see beyond my wounds. As a survivor, I learned to embrace the beautiful scars that remind me of my purpose. During our sessions, we explored four different stages that occur during the transformation process. Each session created an opportunity for us to explore ourselves and understand who we are, what we suffered, how we are being transformed to identify our strengths and live according to our purpose.
Do you facilitate the retreats?
The curriculum is formatted in a way that will guide you to facilitate a retreat in your own context. You can also hire us to facilitate the retreat with your community! Our survivor-leaders from Kenya, Zambia, and the US come from diverse perspectives and can be available to work with your organization. Organizations must cover travel and facilitation expenses. For inquiries, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
What do we do if we have questions about executing the curriculum?
We would love to chat with you to ensure this retreat is designed in a way that can be of utmost support to your community of survivors. Reach out to us and we’d be happy to chat with you: email@example.com
Can we share this with other organizations or do they need to buy their own license?
Each organization must purchase its own curriculum. This will help us track the successes of organizations that are utilizing our curriculum and it will also allow us to be available for inquiries. The fees support Freely in Hope’s work of funding education and leadership for survivors of sexual violence in Kenya and Zambia.
How long does it take to work through the curriculum?
We recommend hosting a three to four-day retreat.
What prep time will we need to get ready to use this?
We recommend planning the retreat at least 2 months in advance to secure a safe and peaceful venue, art supplies facilitators, a trauma-informed therapist, and preparation time for attendees.
Can we hold these retreats virtually?
We recommend holding these retreats in-person to allow for sharing to take place in a safe place. At an in-person retreat, we recommend having a. trauma-informed therapist on-site to support survivors during their process.
Once we have the curriculum can we charge people to attend?
Charging participants is up to your discretion. Be mindful to provide opportunities for equal access for survivors who are unable to pay fees to attend.
If this was created in Zambia will it still be relatable to my community in the US?
The curriculum was developed by Zambians and American’s with an international perspective! We believe stories transcend across borders and sharing our diverse insights, perspectives, and stories broadens our ability to build empathy and find healing. With this in mind, this curriculum can be used across all cultures and you are welcome to adapt to your culture as you see fit.
Are there additional costs to run the retreats outside of purchasing the curriculum?
In addition to the curriculum, you will need to purchase art supplies and meals, lodging, and space at the retreat center of your choosing. If you’d like to hire Freely in Hope survivor-leaders to facilitate the retreat with you, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org