I want to help other women to rebuild their broken lives

VICTIMS of rape and sexual abuse are being offered a helping hand to rebuild their shattered lives.

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Sylvia Douglas is offering victims help
Sylvia Douglas is offering victims help

Vulnerable and disadvantaged young women are fighting back after facing abuse and trauma.

One woman was so empowered she was able to get her children out of care, while another set up a self-help group.

Sylvia Douglas, the founder of MsMissMrs, spent her teens in children's units and had a baby when she was 16.

But her message is simple, there is nothing you can't achieve.

The 35-year-old, from Springburn, set up the MsMissMrs group to promote self-care for girls and women in Glasgow.

She returned to her studies in her 20s, and has had a career in social work and mental health.

Sylvia said: "I had real abandonment issues, I couldn't really form relationships or trust.

"I know about physical trauma and abuse.

"If these things happen when you're young you're left with an overhanging shame.

"I left care when I was pretty young and I was really unequipped.

"I know the experiences and the challenges that people face when situations in your life have been really uncomfortable.

"It was one of those experiences that hung over me constantly and every decision I ever made in my life."

In the past few months, through local workshops, she has helped other women.

She said: "Some girls have gone back to college or back to work and one young woman has got her kids back from being in care."

Another young woman who attended Sylvia's workshop to get help for herself has been inspired to set up a support group for others struggling to cope with bullying, eating disorders and depression.

Sylvia added: "I have worked with a group of young women who are in accommodation due to abuse and trauma and that was really successful.

"Interestingly, I spoke to the leader at a youth group I worked with and he said the impact was not only on the girls but the boys too.

"Within that organisation they were setting more boundaries, they were much more honest in what they were saying and also in looking after themselves.

"So the girls said that really changed the way the boys were responding to them."

MsMissMrs was set up in November at the Hydepark Business Centre in Springburn.

angela.mcmanus@ eveningtimes.co.uk

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