sTandTall was established as a charity in 2017 by Unilever employee Esther Marshall.
“When I was younger I thought I had found someone who loved me. Sometimes he did seem to love me. But at other times – after the drugs and the drinking, he became a different person. He would hurt me to the point that I was scared of him. What happened shook me and shattered my self-confidence to rock bottom.
Esther managed to leave her abusive relationship and recover physically, but the emotional scars remained with her for years.
“For 8 years I was silent about the abuse, and continued to suffer the emotional scars even after the bruises had long faded. I was afraid people would think I was weak.
In 2014 she attended a conference called One Young World, which brings together young leaders from around the world to discuss important and often difficult issues that we as a society are facing. Being in a room with other young people who had overcome adversity gave Esther a new strength and drive to face her own.
“It had a deep effect on me. I couldn’t stop thinking that other people had achieved amazing things and inspired others. I knew I had to do something to help other women and girls who had also gone through abuse.
Esther spent the next years raising awareness, connecting with survivors and fundraising. In 2017, she set up sTandTall, “to help women and girls who have been abused and bullied to get back onto their feet, achieve their full potential and sTandTall again.”