Annette Oltmans, founder of The M3ND Project, lived through years of personal emotional abuse in her marriage, which then led to spiritual and institutional abuse from her community. She experienced domestic violence in her marriage in the form of Covert Emotional Abuse. When she reached out for help, her trauma was only exacerbated by the way friends, counselors, and church leaders responded to her. They either refused to believe her or reacted with judgment, ultimatums, incorrect therapeutic treatment, or patriarchal demands. This Double Abuse® only pushed Annette further into isolation and hopelessness. Her health was failing due to all the stress from both the original abuse and these hurtful responses. Her moment of clarity came when she saw similar physical and emotional symptoms manifesting in a close family friend. This person was also being abused and was not supported or believed by those she reached out to for help. This deeply resonated with Annette’s own experience, lending fresh insight into her pain. While the original abuse was harmful, the secondary abuse from those she sought support from was even more traumatic. She has defined this as Double Abuse®, the traumatic event which occurs in victims when they finally find the courage to speak up or reach out for help but rather than being believed, victims are criticized, judged, interrogated, given wrong instructions, or ostracized by family, friends, therapists, faith-based organizations or professional communities. The M3ND Project was born to provide healing and support for all those touched by abuse. The M3ND Project offers a comprehensive pathway for victims in their various communities to access empowering tools while supporting alleged perpetrators in finding proper accountability.
The MEND Project seeks to educate, equip, and restore all who are impacted by emotional abuse and trains those who interface with them personally or professionally.
Our Statement of Faith
The M3ND Project seeks to make available the teachings of Judeo-Christian principles while respecting every individual’s religious, cultural, ethnic, or socio-economic background. We acknowledge the Bible’s teachings that each person is created equal and in God’s image. M3ND’s vision and mission reflect the principles and teachings of Jesus in an outpouring of compassion and mercy for the marginalized and oppressed.
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 Original 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:
We take our inspiration from the Japanese art of Kintsugi, which literally means GOLDEN REPAIR. The idea behind this stunning work is M3NDing the cracks of broken pottery with precious metals, like gold, making the ordinary piece of pottery even more valuable and beautiful. The M3ND Project seeks to bring about healing in the repair processes for survivors of Original and Double Abuse® resulting in a restored and beautiful creation.