A Rotorua abuse survivor is looking for other survivors of sexual abuse for a "unique, raw, confronting yet empowering photoshoot".

Kahira Olley, founder of the Save Our Babies Charitable Trust, already has more than 20 people signed up from across the country for the photos "celebrating survival".

The people, of various ages and ethnicities, include men who have been molested, nannies, youth counsellors and a terminally ill woman.

The project is called "Unsilenced" and the photos will be taken at different secluded locations around Rotorua and Hasting in the coming months.


They will be displayed in an art gallery setting and Olley intends to make them into a book.

"These things are very much out of my comfort zone... Sometimes you have to think outside the box to get the message out there."

She said the photos were about "claiming back what was stolen" in a "sensitive but confronting" way.

"To say: this is mine, nobody's going to invade it anymore without my permission."

Olley said sexual abuse survivors in her support networks have "fought through our addictions, fought through life, fought through the verbal abuse from those that should've supported and protected us, fought through mental issues, fought through judgement and [we] survived.

"This is not just for ourselves, but for all those that have not yet found their voice, we encourage you to speak out and no longer allow yourself to be a prisoner to your past, if we can do it, so can you."

She said: "Abuse doesn't discriminate. It doesn't matter how many zeros you've got in your bank account. It doesn't matter what side of town your from. It's everywhere."

The sexual abuse she suffered as a child left her feeling "shut down" about her body.


"I never knew I could be beautiful and I never knew I had the right to say no. All my life I thought I was the ugly duckling."

What an experience!! We are forever grateful for the support with this kaupapa and urge you to continue to speak up about Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse. It only takes one person to make a difference. NGA mihi nui Ki a koutou katoa! #tererengawairua #2019campaigncomplete

Posted by Save Our Babies Charitable Trust on Friday, 29 November 2019

Olley is inviting anyone interested in getting in touch by privately messaging the Save Our Babies Charitable Trust Facebook page but they have to be prepared the photos will be "open to the world".

"Make sure your family knows you're taking part and that they know about your abuse. Because when the photos are published they will ask questions, if they don't know."

Following the photoshoots this year, Olley is also planning a runway event.

Rydges have offered to host the event, and the models will be both survivors of sexual abuse and domestic abuse.

Olley is also hoping to hear from potential designers and sponsors for that event, and still has spaces for male abuse survivors for the runway and whānau from diverse ethnic backgrounds.