Here's why 2 friends launched I am Arla

Laura and I are so proud and honoured to share with you our story- something so special that has brought us together on this journey, as survivors, inspired and definitely empowered!

We started our friendship, meeting 12 years ago, working together in London- and could never have imagined then how our story would become what it is now. 

Both of us in our early 20s, we were in relationships with two guys, both of them were good friends, in their 20s; unassuming, liked by many, charming etc. What we didn’t realise was they would both be the relationships that would almost cost our lives and cause us unimaginable pain over the next decade. 

Both the men were abusive; physically, verbally and emotionally- to which the scars never fully heal. It was by chance Laura and I re-connected 5 years ago and spoke about our break ups and so happened to have the dutch courage to mention they had been abusive. It was that moment, in a split second, sharing it, that actually changed my life. Laura told me she had experienced the same- and for all the pain in speaking about it- it was the most exhilarating and emotional feeling to share it and know I wasn’t alone. Both of us couldn't believe and more over, neither of us had ever met anyone who had been through it. It’s part of the reason the healing is so challenging because you don’t ever hear stories or learn of how others survived, healed and thrived. 

Fast forward to today, a few weeks back Laura and I spoke on the phone and it was the most incredible, exciting conversation. In fact, we spoke at and over each other about our experience and stories in depth- finishing each others sentences and empathising with every feeling and sensation we had ever felt, because for once, someone understood- someone felt the same- someone just knew what it had felt like all this time. 

We spoke about our journey to now and how we have healed or are still healing and how we still struggle day to day. 

From that moment, both of us knew we needed to bottle that feeling up and be able to spread it to every other survivor out there - to share, embrace, uplift, support and love. 

This community is created by survivors for survivors with the purpose to give every woman who has experienced abuse, trauma, discrimination to fulfil their potential in life. Laura and I have re-built our lives, it's taken years but we have proven that abuse doesn't define women as long as they believe they can do anything, they will.

We are sharing our story to lift the shame, silence and taboo on abuse and show every woman they will not be defined by their story. Our mission is to see 1 million survivors become leaders in whichever profession, education, path they may be on.

657 views0 comments