Survivors of abuse and trauma are being offered a workshop to help cope with the effects it can haave on one’s life. Don’t Just Survive, Thrive is a free workshop at Residents in Recovery to give abuse survivors the tools they need to live a fulfilling life.

From January 15 until February 19, the six-week workshop will cover understanding abuse, how common it is, how it relates to emotional challenges and tools for overcoming those challenges. Shelly Ann Wieringa, the organizer and a certified Life Skills Coach Therapist, says the program is necessary for those who’ve gone through these struggles.

“As a survivor of abuse myself, I completely understand what the deep-rooted adverse effects of childhood abuse are, especially in our adult years,” says Wieringa. She adds that many adults experience the effects of abuse and trauma today and that it impacts the majority of a survivor’s life.

“There’s post-traumatic stress disorder, there’s suicide, addictions issues, self-esteem issues. It actually impacts every aspect of a person’s life.”

Wieringa says that one in three girls, or one in five boys, will be or have been sexually abused by age 12. After working with abusers in federal penitentiaries, she says that the issue of abuse carries on to others if not properly addressed.

“If you don’t fix the issue this generation, it becomes a multigenerational issue. It doesn’t matter if you’re a residential school survivor, if you’re a rape survivor or a family violence survivor. You can survive, but why not thrive? Why not make your life better?”

From her own experience, Wieringa says that for many years she survived but did not thrive. Now she hopes to share the tools she’s learned to help her carry on with life.

The workshop is free of charge, and those interested can contact Shelly Ann Wieringa at (306) 830-2655.