Sunflower Project to help people turn towards the sunlight after abuse


A FORMER victim of domestic abuse is on a mission to create more Safe Spaces around Tunbridge Wells, for the use of anyone trying to escape an abuser.

The Sunflower Project blossomed out of the friendship between two women: Sound healing and reiki practitioner Victoria Crowhurst and another survivor who had been abused by the same man.

“My abuser went to prison last year. It was for domestic violence, but not mine. [He had abused] another lady, whom I’m very close to now,” she told the Times.

“We send sunflowers to each other.

“Sunflowers turn to face the light and sunshine, and there’s always light at the end of a tunnel with escaping domestic abuse,” she explained.

Now Victoria has created ‘sunflower’ cards, a discreet information pack about where and how to get help in cases of domestic abuse. She is calling on local businesses to sign up to provide more safe spaces.

“[I want to] remind people in Tunbridge Wells that it can and does happen here,” she said.

“When it happened to me, I didn’t have anywhere to go, or I wasn’t aware of it.

“I’m just trying to get businesses to sign up to offer Safe Spaces. All you need is a small space with a telephone out of the public eye.”

The access to a phone is crucial, she stressed. “Some people aren’t allowed a phone at all, and some partners will check phones daily.”

Victoria is also applying for funding to receive referrals from a local domestic abuse charity so that she can help them through sound healing and reiki.

“Once they have left, the trauma is still stuck. I’m 10 years in from mine, and I’ve still got trauma.”

Sound healing treatment might consist of a ‘sound bath’, using sound waves from a gong, crystal sounding bowls and tuning forks.

PTSD and leftover trauma can remain surprisingly physical, added Victoria. “It can come out in lots of different ailments.”

As part of the process of applying for funding, she will offer free treatment for the first 10-20 applications, whose feedback will be part pf the application process.

The referral scheme could be up and running within the next month, but Victoria is already running monthly coffee mornings to help survivors build friendships and find support.

“Post-Covid, there is a backlog of people who have been stuck, who haven’t been able to speak to someone or to go to coffee groups,” she said.

“Now is the time.”

Sunflower Project coffee mornings are on the last Friday of the month at the Belle Empire boutique, Mount Ephraim. The next one is on March 31.

Share this article

Recommended articles


Please enter a search term below.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter