The Blue Butterfly Institute?
The Blue Butterfly Institute provides a platform for connection to provide a safe pathway to personal and community empowerment and awareness.
The Blue Butterfly Institute is a not for profit, volunteer run, organisation operating as an online delivery model with outreach potential. We advocate for victims and survivors of sexual trauma, support them through the healing journey, and provide educational opportunities to the community on the impact of trauma on behaviour, attitudes, and beliefs.
We will speak, we will be heard and we will emerge to create something beautiful from the darkness...
The Blue Butterfly Institute serves victims and survivors of sexual trauma, as well as their family and carers. We refer to these victims and survivors as chrysalites*.
Our services will cater for children (under 18), youth (18-25), and adult victims and survivors of sexual trauma.
*a chrysalis is the term used to refer to the stage during which the caterpillar transforms into the butterfly.
The Blue Butterfly Institute serve?
Every Survivor’s story will be heard.
The History of The Blue Butterfly Institute
The Blue Butterfly Institute was founded by Tina Meyer in 2021 in the Wollondilly, NSW. Tina is a survivor of sexual trauma. Through her own healing process and after extensive work in the field, Tina discovered there was a need for a central agency to educate the community, advocate for victims, and empower survivors.
The concept of The Blue Butterfly Institute started to emerge in 2017 when Tina, the Founder, took a year’s leave away from teaching to consciously heal from a turbulent year before.
Whilst flying somewhere between Minnesota and Las Vegas, she realised there was something missing in her healing template and she also realised that her healing was extending back into her childhood, triggered by the events from the previous few years relating to allegations of students against staff for sexual misconduct that she had referred.
Teaching had kept her small in her own life and disempowered, as she had been as a child regularly experiencing sexual and physical violence.
The intersection between her childhood and her referral experiences as a teacher merged and a seed was sown to create a better way forward with more support for the survivors of sexual trauma and better education for the broader community about the impact of trauma on the brain’s functioning.
An exchange on Messenger during 2019 with an ex-student whose daughter had been abused by the paternal grandfather reignited the flame of urgency in getting the plan moving. The ex-student’s child had been waiting and waiting and waiting for counselling support. She was eight. Tina started to feel, again, how there needed to be greater advocacy for victims of child sexual abuse.
At some point in early 2020, Tina started to talk very seriously to people about the idea of the Institute and many were very keen to join her to make it a reality. She started to collect names for a group of volunteers. And then, in March of 2020, Covid-19 hit and her plans went to dust for the remainder of 2020.
January 2021 emerged from the dust of 2020, and Tina knew she needed to start acting to make the Institute a reality. At this point, she can’t remember when the name came through (trauma brain) but initially a foundation, a trip to Wollongong with a friend resulted in the change to an institute. A place for advocacy, support and education with the potential to grow as it needed to.
The necessary paperwork for the Department of Fair Trading was completed and sent and the journey began. Kirsti Reynolds and Amanda Dennis from RubyOnyx were commissioned to develop the website and logo. As friends of Tina, they had witnessed parts of her journey and felt called to participate in this new venture.
Tina put a call out through the Facebook page in late March and interested people joined her at her home in Tahmoor on Sunday, 18th April, 2021 for an inaugural meeting. Positions were appointed and The Blue Butterfly Institute was born, the day before Tina, the founder, turned 50. Her birthday present to herself.
On Saturday, 26th June, 2021, the same volunteers again gathered with Tina and spent the day discussing what the Institute meant to them and what it would look like moving forward. This was also the day that Greater Sydney was plunged into Lockdown (euphemistically known as ‘Stay at Home Orders’). At the time of writing, Greater Sydney is still in Lockdown and has been for close to 70 days. It is not lost on the founder that the Institute, founded to support victims of sexual trauma, has manifested in one of the most collectively traumatising periods in Australian history.
Research into trauma has demonstrated clearly that victims of sexual trauma heal 'better' with early intervention.
For too long in NSW, when children disclose to an adult and a report is made, the child is left waiting for trauma counselling for months.
The Government needs to ensure that they offer appropriate services in a timely manner and allocate funding to ensure all of this can happen.
Sexual trauma, all trauma, impacts the brain's wiring. As a result, a victim and survivor's responses - emotional and behavioural - can seem off or odd.
It is so important that everyone understands how 'triggers' work and how the impact influences the behaviours they see in another person. The greatest antidote to shame is empathy.
When the community understands trauma impact, the shame is mitigated.
Sharing stories of sexual trauma in a safe space, and with appropriate support, enables connection.
Connection inspires empathy. Empathy empowers victims and survivors to move beyond shame to own their stories. Moving beyond shame enables survivors to process what happened to them. This inspires healing.
Healing empowers survivors to serve and inspire others. It is a long process. We are here to facilitate that journey.
The Blue Butterfly Institute will always be looking for people, businesses and organisations who are willing to support them in building a world where children are safe, supported and protected.
You can support the work of The Blue Butterfly Institute by volunteering your time, donating your expertise, or by becoming a benefactor.
For more information, please contact Natasha, firstname.lastname@example.org.