When I was younger I thought I had found someone who loved me. Sometimes he did seem to love me. But at other times - after the drugs and the drinking, he became a different person. He would hurt me to the point that I was scared of him. What happened shook me and shattered my self-confidence to rock bottom. I would sit in the bathroom crying and in pain. But I never told anyone any specific details - because I was afraid. Afraid of people thinking I was weak.
Then in 2014 I went to a conference called One Young World where I heard about other young people overcoming the adversity they had been through. It had a deep effect on me. I couldn’t stop thinking about how other people had achieved amazing things and inspired others. And all I had done was hide from the issues. I had written down my feelings but not shared them. I had to do something. I went back to my room each night of the conference and started to draw up a plan for what I’m most passionate about.
Safety. Safety for women and girls.
When I used to sit in that bathroom scared I would write down my feelings. I carried on writing for a year-and-a-half after the relationship was over. There was one day when I said to myself, “Okay, today is the day. Today I stop writing and start getting on with my life.” The final sentence I wrote that day was: “One day I will stand tall”.
After the conference I started to set up StandTall. Unilever helped set up the platform and I’ve had the support of both the CEO and Chief Sustainability Officer.
We have now launched and hope that we can bring together girls and women all over the world to build their self-esteem and help them achieve their full potential and StandTall.
The ultimate ambition of sTandTall is to build centres around the world that provide holistic restorative care to victims of abuse, ensuring they are able to overcome their trauma and achieve their incredible potential.
The StandTall platform aims to: