By Michelle Keller
Survivors of domestic violence recently attended a Day of Empowerment retreat provided by non-profit organization Joyful Inspiration. Held in an unnamed location for the protection of the survivors, the retreat lasted from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, February 17, 2018.
Planned retreat activities included massage, self-defense, yoga and other educational classes. Vision board sessions are also planned during the retreat. Volunteers and practitioners attended the activities along with the survivors. Some of the volunteers are also survivors who were led into their fields from their own past experiences.
The entire event was offered at no cost. Marking her third retreat for the cause, founder Jenea Frierson said, “I was stunned by how many of the ladies assumed there was a fee involved. When we initially received responses, so many of the women wanted to know what the catch was to attending a “free retreat”. There is no catch. This is what we do because it’s what we’ve been called to do. We hold an absolutely free retreat with no strings attached. We want to give these ladies hope of a brighter future filled with joy and healing.”
She continued, “Our mission is to bring hope to the broken-hearted by showing them how to live happy and successful lives, and creating an opportunity for a brighter future for themselves and their children as a result. Our vision for the first two to three years is to provide retreats for women who are victims of domestic violence. The goal is to teach these women how to find success and inner happiness.”
According to studies, up to 35 percent of the U.S. population will be physically aggressive towards a partner at some point in their lives. A recent study by The National Coalition of Domestic Violence reports 76,704 cases in the state of Texas alone. “Domestic violence occurs in every demographic,” Frierson explained. “Our primary objective at Joyful Inspiration is to initiate the healing process so that the survivors can return to joyful and productive lives.”
After the retreat a survivor commented, “I work in a hospital clinic as a nationally certified medical assistant. I finally mustered the strength and called the police on my abuser in February of 2016 and I have been away from him for two years. This weekend helped me learn that it’s time for me to move to the other side of abuse. It’s time to step towards letting go of the past and the stories and maybe even toward forgiveness. Jesus has led me in every step of safety and starting a new life. I am so thankful to Him. I am also thankful for the Christian atmosphere that Jenea provides. This retreat is a gathering of sisters who are healing together.”
All services offered by Joyful Inspiration are provided by the community on a volunteer basis.
While there are a lot of fun activities offered to the survivors, Frierson said it’s important to know that the organization will continue to support these survivors by following up with the ladies and having practitioners donate services once the retreat is over. “Our intent is to be the safety net for these ladies when unexpected hardships happen,” she explained. “The first six months to a year after leaving an abusive relationship is the hardest for women to learn how to be self-sufficient and learn to budget and thrive. Things happen in everyday life like car repair, doctor’s appointments, school supplies, etc., and we want to be here to help them see a path when the road seems impossible.”
When asked about future plans for Joyful Inspiration, Frierson said, “Our long-term vision is to have a residential property to house the survivors along with therapy, spiritual enrichment, life skills training, and off-site education opportunities so that the residents are better equipped to lead successful lives.”
Donations of items/services that are needed include:
Legal Services (on the top of the list of needs)
Massage gift certificates
Restaurant gift certificates
Salon gift certificates (a new hair do goes a long way to lifting a woman’s self-esteem!)
Chiropractic services (always helps to heal the body as you heal the soul)
Self-defense classes (it’s so important to give them their power back)
Gym memberships (how uplifting to get back in tune with your body!)
Gift Cards (grocery stores, Visa, Wal-Mart, etc)
For more information and to find out how to donate or become a sponsor visit www.joyfulinspiration.org or contact Jenea Frierson at firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the most favored events at each retreat is the creativity session. The retreat was no exception.
The freedom of expression was so uplifting what a great group of women!
And Rhea Rose thank you so much for coming out and feeding these ladies creativity!!! You were amazing!
“What an amazing weekend!!! Best one yet!!”
“It was so awesome seeing the lights come on and some freedom and hope received!! These ladies participated and allowed us to serve them and wrap them love!”
~~ Jenea Frierson Goodwin ~~ Event Director
“I forgot to say to the ladies how impressed I was with them.”
“They are so strong! They were engaged, interested, fun, and despite all the abuse still shone with being feminine and beautiful! They didn’t let the badness win, they beat / continue to beat it.”
“It’s not often I feel like the weakest person in the room but all of them are far stronger than me.”
~~ Paul Landreth-Smith ~~ Self Defense Trainer
In our day-to-day pursuit to help these wonderful women we occasionally find that we also have needs. This time we have a big one.
We are seeing that some of our women, at their most vulnerable, are on occasion having difficulty locating transportation to our retreat events. So we are currently in the need of a passenger van so we can provide transportation to allow these women to enjoy the benefits these retreats can provide.
Cash donations are always the most helpful, any and every amount helps, or if you you have the ability to help in any way it will be greatly appreciated.
As our women rebuild their lives lets not let this roadblock hinder their ability to grow at our retreat events!
Day of Empowerment
February 17, 10 am-8 pm
(Due to the confidential nature of our program we cannot list the exact address on our website.)
For information on attending (survivors) or on volunteering please contact us below.
Joyful Inspiration held an opening event, “Day of Empowerment”, honoring women escaping domestic violence. We fed their body, soul and spirit, with each of them walking away with a renewed sense of hope.
The activities included yoga, massage, delicious food, self-defense, meditation, and building visions. Tucked away from the world, our ladies could get away from their daily stresses and connect and breath. As one said, “I got more out of that one day than I have six months of therapy.”.
Our vision for the first 2-3 years is to provide retreats for women who are victims of domestic violence. The goal is to teach these women how to find success and inner happiness. All services are provided by the community on a volunteer basis.
The organization will continue to support these survivors by having practitioners donate services once the retreat is over. Our goal is to be the safety net for these ladies when unexpected hardships happen. Things like car repair, help for doctor’s appointments, school supplies.
We would like to be able to help them with the things that can catch them and their budget by surprise. The first 6 months to a year after leaving an abusive relationship is the hardest for women to learn how to be self-sufficient and learn to budget and thrive.
Planned retreat activities include massage, self-defense, yoga and other educational classes. Vision board sessions are also planned during the retreat. Volunteers and practitioners will attend the activities along with the sponsored women.
Our long-term vision is to have a residential property to house the survivors along with therapy, spiritual enrichment, life skills training, and off-site education opportunities will be available so that the residents are better equipped to lead successful lives.