SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Two Sioux Falls women are joining together to create As We Gather, a new nonprofit focused on helping victims of sexual assault heal from trauma and empowering young girls in the community to help focus on prevention.

“In my own healing journey when I was able to gather with other women and just be seen in my own hurt and my sadness and my emotions, that’s when I felt like there was a lot of deep healing for me,” As We Gather co-founder Chelsea Giedd said.

Chelsea Giedd has spent the last year working through her own childhood sexual trauma.

“After sharing my journey publicly, I cannot tell you the number of women who have reached out to me almost daily, who have reached out to me saying, me too, I’ve had that happen to me too,” Giedd said.

Giedd tried counseling but found her own healing through empowering experiences with other women.

“I knew I couldn’t be the only person searching for an alternative healing option in our community so I wanted to create that and bring that space here for other women,” Giedd said

“I knew I was very passionate about creating safe space for women to gather and share,” As We Gather co-founder Sandrine Pilaz said.

Giedd partnered with Sioux Falls health coach, Sandrine Pilaz, to form As We Gather, a non profit focused on healing from sexual assault and empowering younger women to help prevent future assaults.

“I didn’t feel growing up that I had this empowering piece,” Pilaz said. “I have four daughters now, two who are entering the teenage years, so I feel called to have sex education presented for them in a way that I haven’t been myself.”

The two women just formed As We Gather and are hosting their first fundraiser and awareness night on Thursday, April 20th, inviting sexual assault survivors to model in an artistic runway show.

“It’s actually all about the flowers, the floral art is going to tell a story with each of the 30 models as they walk the runway,” Giedd said.

The organization Be the Color is taking part in the fundraiser to provide the floral art for the models, helping more women gather together and share their stories at this night of Reawakening Hope.

“Sexual assault is such a hard topic to talk about,” Giedd said. “This is the first time they [the models] will be sharing their stories in anyway, causing women to look at themselves, look at their own past and find healing.”

As We Gather’s Reawakening Hope runway fundraiser will be at the Icon Event Hall from 6pm to 10pm on Thursday April 20th.