Nicola Di Bona has more than enough on her plate completing her HSC this year but on top of all her study is about to is launch an organisation aimed at creating a positive space for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.
Sparked from her participation in New South Wales' 2019 Youth Parliament Nicola wanted to find a way to help those who have experienced sexual assault and domestic violence, and so Chayah was born.
Chayah is organisation, which will be operating as an online platform, focusing on sexual assault awareness, education and help services.
Nicola said life after assault for so many victims can be incredibly overwhelming and Chayah is a place people can come to seek help.
"Without resources and options for assistance lasting trauma haunts survivors which is an unnecessary burden on top of the experience of assault," Nicola said.
"Chayah means life and living prosperously and that is what I hope can be achieved by with organisation.
"We will be launching at the end of June and the launch will be an opportunity to begin to inform the local community about its purpose, establish the service in the community, and definitely kick off something that will genuinely improve the lives of survivors.
"Every person who has been a victim or assault or domestic violence can access Chayah with the knowledge that they will be in a safe and supportive environment."
There are three aspects of the organisation and Nicola says all three are crucial to helping survivors.
"Firstly we want to raise awareness for what sexual assault actually is so that people can understand why it is such a problem in our community," she said.
"Then there is raising awareness for all the services available to people. Often when you are assaulted or someone tells you about their experience you can be unsure about where to go for help.
"So I want to provide people with the knowledge of their options so they know what they can do. Sometimes victims don't know where to seek help or what their options are and this will help.
"Lastly it is all about education. Education and then prevention is key to helping stop assault in our community."
Nicola said the she is conscious of the numerous help platforms and organisations that already exist but insists that hers "fills in the gaps" other organisations fail to acknowledge.
"Chayah isn't here to reinvent the wheel, and was specifically created based on the needs which are not currently being met," she said.
"As studies have confirmed, nothing is more important than solidarity and support as this removes the stigma and isolation that so often plagues victims.
"In a monitored, supportive, encouraging sphere, survivors can move forward and blossom in the wake of trauma."
The launch of Chayah will be on June 29 at the Glasshouse in Port Macquarie from 5.30pm. Tickets start at $17 with money going to the establishment of the organisation at the local women's refuge.
To purchase a ticket click here.
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