Finding hope after sexual violence

Laura shares her personal experience of sexual assault, and how this led her to start an initiative to help people get their sparkle back after trauma, illness or tragedy.

True Stories

Laura Sparkle

Laura set up The Sparkle Foundation after being sexually assaulted

I’m Laura and I’m 25 years old. I live in the North East and work for the NHS. I’ve always been extremely interested in mental health, and in helping people to live life to the full.

Three years ago, I was raped

This was a very traumatic and distressing experience. Afterwards I felt like I had lost my identity amidst the police investigations, and become another ‘rape victim.’ I lost my sense of self, I lost my sparkle and for a time I stopped seeing the beauty in the world. I didn’t feel like there was anywhere that showed a positive view of life after an assault or trauma, and I felt the need to change that. Being assaulted was not what defined me, and I wanted to get that back. Through focusing all of my energy on me, on self-care, and realising that I had the power within me, I was able to process what had happened and move forward – and Sparkle was born!

We help people feel positive again

The Sparkle Foundation is an organisation that helps people to see the magic in the world. We help people who have experienced trauma or adversity, and look at the person, not the trauma. The focus is on how they can get their sparkle back. Trauma can feel very isolating and restricting, so we seek to help people re-integrate back into their life by partaking in fun, sociable activities. We organise monthly events, socials and peer support. We want people to realise that there is hope, and that you don’t have to be restricted or defined by what’s happened to you.

You can and will be happy again

We help people to see that, while what has happened is awful, there is positive support. What happened doesn’t get to take ‘you’ from you. You will always get to be you, you always have your sparkle, and that’s your superpower. No one gets to take that away!

Experiencing trauma doesn’t have to change your life forever

Sometimes that sparkle can feel further away or harder to access. That’s where the Sparkle Foundation comes in. We offer peer support with a hopeful, positive focus. We also host events that tap into what the individual enjoys, what makes them them, and helps them to meaningfully reintegrate back into their own life.

Sexual violence is serious, but there needs to be a positive space

I realised there was a need for something that said ‘there is life after trauma, there’s hope, and we can help you get there.’ That didn’t exist, and that’s what we want to create. We want to celebrate people who have overcome such challenges, and support them to go on to life their best, most wonderful lives. We’re positive, person-centred and inclusive – if you feel like you need Sparkle, there is always a place for you here.

My ethos is always one of kindness and support

I think it’s crucial that you show that to yourself. Be kind to yourself and be your biggest supporter. I would tell my younger self that no matter what, everything will be okay. You have the power to make it so. Believe in yourself, and never stop seeing the magic in the world.

Next Steps

  • The Sparkle Foundation is the brainchild of Newcastle-based entrepreneur, Laura Currer, and an initiative to help people get their sparkle back after trauma, illness or tragedy
  • Women's aid protects women from domestic violence. Call their 24-hour helpline on 0808 2000 247.
  • Young Women's Trust offer a free telephone and online coaching service for women aged 18-30 to help with anything from work, life or building confidence. You can also get free advice on your CV or job application. Call 0808 808 8099.
  • Chat about this subject on our Discussion Boards.
  • Need help but confused where to go locally? Download our StepFinder iPhone app to find local support services quickly.

By

Updated on 15-Oct-2018

Sorry, comments closed