I am just back from organizing and coordonating with the Foundation Innocence in Danger the first ever retreat for adult survivors in the Swiss Alps. The group gathered 5 French male and female survivors of sexual abuse, and 5 American (+ 1 British) protecting mothers of children survivors who were themselves invited the the children's summer camp.
We stayed in a fantastic wooden chalet in the mountains. The retreat offered workshops in drama, dance and art therapy as well as a healing workshop based on Native American tradition. Strangely enough, all the animators were survivors themselves. One of them, a specialist in the field in Montreal provided extra support by giving specific talks of the dynamic of abuse and opening a supporting parenting group.
The retreat provided a fantastic opportunity for sharing in a very safe environment, exploring, healing and also laughing. The were also a lot of interractions between children and adult survivors and also with the mothers.
We had a Swiss fondue and raclette evening, with some singing and also a all together bowling evening (lots of fun).
Due to the success of this first experience, we are hoping to renew it next year. I know also there are discussions to set up similar retreats on the East Coast.
For me it was emotionally demanding and I was hit by the horror stories I heard that go beyond normal human imagination.
But the work goes on and I look back on all the support we provided and how appreciated it was.
Love to all
Mitakuye oyasin ! We are all related !