UVU Social work club works to help students heal from sexual abuse

Students break bowls to learn how to be whole again from sexual abuse.

The Social Work Student Association invited the Younique Foundation to come and teach a group of students how to deal with trauma from experiencing sexual abuse as a child in UVU’s classroom building on Feb. 12.

The activity was open to all who wanted to attend, and the instructors from the Younique Foundation Education Program used the Japanese art of Kintsugi to help teach the students about the process of healing from sexual abuse.

Kintsugi is the creative art of fixing bowls and china that have been broken or shattered. The Younique Foundation uses this process to teach women in their programs that the path to healing means taking the time and using the proper tools to heal yourself.

“What we do at the Younique Foundation is help women who were sexually abused as children find healing. Also, a big part of what we do is we educate about it and we try to make people more comfortable talking about sexual abuse, educating their children about healthy sexuality and preventing it from happening,” said Pam Davis, Younique Foundation education instructor. “We have a retreat that we offer for free to women who were sexually abused as children to try out different types of therapy and to engage in some group therapy.”

Davis taught the women that they were not victims of sexual abuse, but were in fact survivors of sexual abuse. After showing a short video explaining the Kintsugi process and how it could serve in the healing process, Davis instructed the attendees to select a bowl for themselves. She then helped them cover the bowl in a towel and have each student break their bowls with a hammer. After seeing the broken pieces of the once whole bowl, each student was given a mixture of glue and gold dust to repair the bowls, while also creating a new and beautifully unique version of their bowls.

In the video Davis showed the class, the narrator said, “Kintsugi isn’t about fixing a bowl. Kintsugi is about understanding the importance of healing properly. That if I’m patient with myself, if I use the proper tools, and if I take the time to tend to my wounds, I can become even more beautiful.”

Marisa Moss, president of the Social Work Student Association, explained how having the Younique Foundation come back to UVU and teach a healing class was very important to her.

“They came for the first time last year, and we didn’t do the Kintsugi bowls last year so this year we wanted to get more involved,” Moss said. “Last year when they presented, I heard about the retreat so I went on the retreat and I was like ‘this is amazing.’ … We made the Kintsugi bowls, and I thought everyone has to do this.”

Near the end of her presentation, Davis explained how the Younique Foundation was taking steps to teach the healing process and even trying to prevent sexual abuse with their outreach and preventative program called Defend Innocence.

“We’re just kind of teaching so that schools can teach their teachers to watch for signs of abuse or how to prevent it, and ways to talk about healthy sexuality. We’re trying to help people to be able to educate themselves.”

Students break bowls to learn how to be whole again from sexual abuse.
Students break bowls to learn how to be whole again from sexual abuse.

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