"What sits on the other side of speaking out? It's tough, its hard and its scary. Survivors need support and we need to pull together to give them the support they need to feel it is even possible to leave and stay safe. When survivors have access to the right support their family benefit, and as a result the wider community benefits too."
Woven Earth is founded by Kerryn Thrupp, a family violence survivor who has walked the journey of rebuilding her life with her two children and the first hand struggles she faced.
Part of the journey saw her living on a women’s refuge for 7 long months in Australia waiting to be granted the right to come home to New Zealand. She pieced together the foundations for her charity Woven Earth using her own experience and what elements made it possible for her to take another step in her journey to survive the aftermath after speaking out. Kerryn has a Masters in Communications and has worked in Corporate Sponsorship and Communications Management roles in Australia and New Zealand for the past 18 years and this happened to her. Now a 41 year old woman starting again in New Zealand she is determined to not have walked this path for nothing.
"I feel charged with a responsibility to bring positive change to this part of the family violence journey as the gaps for survivors are many and some of these barriers can stop people from speaking out".
Kerryn had to retell her story many times over to receive assistance, she became more and more downtrodden by the hurdles she had to jump just to get some basic needs met for her family. Each avenue for help required filling out a new form with homeless the only category fitting of her situation all compounded the feelings of hopelessness and loss.
Along the way Kerryn was given support from incredibly kind individuals who used their friends and networks to pull together essential items for her and her children. Each time this happened Kerryn was struck with how much positive impact kindness and support can have. When a refuge and a charity who directly supported the clients of the refuge stepped into her life Kerryn was given the much needed support of pantry items straight from the supermarket, funds to pay for her children to attend the local soccer and gymnastics club, clothing and assistance to fly them home to New Zealand when relocation was granted in the family court. Kerryn saw the positive impact practical support had on other refuge clients as they left the refuge supported by the charity to turn the house they had found into a home. This kind of practical help was specific to the needs of each family and for Kerryn it afforded her the strength and self-belief to keep on fighting and put one foot in front of the other.
"Woven Earth is about bringing light into the darkness of family violence."
Woven Earth represents the offering of defining high moments to keep survivors believing in themselves, community and life after abuse. While in the Refuge Kerryn drew a mind map of all the elements that gave her strength to keep fighting. Woven earth was at the center, linking these pieces together.
"We are all woven together by our journey on earth and we all need communities of people, whether it is one, some or many to survive and thrive and be part of the world again."