Tucked away in the backyard of Chelsea Corlett’s Mullumbimby home is a beautiful little yurt with a big and beautiful purpose.
Known as the DandiLion Yurt, the dwelling is a supportive, safe space for women to come when they have conceived and are trying to decide whether or not to continue with the pregnancy.
‘So many women still suffer in silence and shame over the tormenting, often torturous, decision to keep a conception or not,’ Ms Corlett says.
‘It is one of the biggest decisions ever, and yet it still goes unsupported and unspoken.
‘Consequently, many women abort from a place of deep confusion and at worse, coercion from a partner or someone else.
‘This often ends up in intense regret, agony, and grief over a decision made from fear or disempowerment. I want to help women make the decision from a place of clarity.’
Ms Corlett’s own experience was at the very heart of her motivation for creating the DandiLion Yurt.
Three years ago she was coerced into having an abortion by her partner at the time – a decision she came to deeply regret.
‘He threatened me and manipulated me – I got to a state of such trauma that I was completely numb when I had the termination,’ she says.
‘I realised later that I did it out of fear of that abuse, and that it was an extremely traumatic experience.
‘After everything that happened, I felt very strongly that I wanted to support others who were going through it, to support them and for my own healing.’
Ms Corlett says she is not trying to dissuade women from having terminations, but is supporting them to make their own decisions about their own bodies, whatever that might be.
‘Ultimately, biologically, it’s a woman’s right to choose what happens to her body,’ she says.
Ms Corlett emphasises that while she is trained in counselling and psychology, she is not offering a professional service.
She also says that there are times when the yurt is being used for other support services.
‘I’m also available more generally as a confidential point of contact and a neutral person to talk to and also for further referral to professional support if that’s wanted.’
Women interested in making use of the DandiLion yurt can email her at [email protected] or contact her via the DandiLion Yurt Facebook page.