Our History

Annette Oltmans, founder of The MEND Project, experienced personal, spiritual and institutional abuse. Domestic violence in the form of covert emotional abuse had been an everyday struggle and reality. When she reached out for help, her trauma became exacerbated by the Double Abuse® she experienced by certain friends, counselors, and church leaders who either refused to believe her or responded with judgment, ultimatums, incorrect therapeutic treatment, or patriarchal demands. This Double Abuse® pushed Annette further into oppression, isolation, and hopelessness. What helped give Annette the validating clarity she needed was seeing Double Abuse® occur simultaneously to a minor aged child. This experience deeply resonated with her own, illuminating the truth of what she had been suffering. Involved with International Justice Mission as a donor, Annette contemplated numerous cultural blind spots that had been on the global stage and responsible for multiple abuses. She questioned, “Who Is Confronting These Systemic Blindspots Here At Home?” Thus,The MEND Project was born. Realizing that healing takes place through strong connections, The MEND Project now offers a comprehensive pathway for victims in their various communities to access empowering tools while supporting alleged perpetrators in finding proper accountability.

Stigmas, being rooted in ignorance, isolate victims by breaking connections. We are breaking stigmas by shining light on the taboo subject of primary and double abuse®

The MEND Project seeks to educate, equip, and restore those impacted by Primary and Double Abuse®.

We operate under the following Biblical principle:

It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible-and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. Ephesians 5:12-13

We seek to boldly expose the hidden issues of Primary and Double Abuse® in our culture, and bring them into the light so that we do no further harm to victims. With this as our guide we hold these four core values sacred:

WHY KINTSUGI?

We take our inspiration from the Japanese art of Kintsugi, which literally means GOLDEN REPAIR. The idea behind this stunning work is MENDing the cracks of broken pottery with precious metals, like gold, making the ordinary piece of pottery even more valuable and beautiful. The MEND Project seeks to bring about healing in the repair processes for survivors of Primary and Double Abuse® resulting in a restored and beautiful creation.

Traumatic events destroy the sustaining bonds between individual and community. Those who have survived learn that their sense of self, of worth, of humanity, depends upon a feeling of connection to others. The solidarity of a group provides the strongest protection agains terror and despair, and the strongest antidote to traumatic experience. Trauma isolates; the group recreates a sense of belonging. Trauma shames and stigmatizes; the group bears witness and affirms. Trauma degrades the victim; the group exalts her. Trauma dehumanizes the victim; the group restores her humanity. (Herman, Trauma and Recovery, p 214)