Latonya Smiley is passionate about helping others, which is evident in her work as the CEO and founder of Unbroken LLC. Through Unbroken and its subsidiaries, Latonya helps women heal from sexual and emotional trauma by guiding them in shifting their perspectives from a victim to victor mentality. Latonya also helps survivors find their voices so that their testimonies make a greater impact on the world and aid in eliminating the stigma that overshadows sexual assault and abuse. But Latonya’s work doesn’t stop there. She is also the founder of the Not on My Watch initiative that raises awareness of sex trafficking. Because of this and her impressive career, we were thrilled to sit down with Latonya for this Sheen exclusive to learn more about her work and her passion.

Who is Latonya Smiley?

I am the CEO and founder of Unbroken LLC, which helps women heal from sexual and emotional trauma and walk into their God-given destinies. Unbroken LLC houses Unbroken Publishing, which assists women in writing their stories and sharing their testimonies to help others. Also under the Unbroken umbrella is Unmuted, which is my signature coaching program that encourages men and women to verbalize their trauma and take back their voices. There is no such thing as a quiet king or queen; your trauma cannot scream louder than the glory of God in your life. Suited & Booted is also under Unbroken and is a training program that trains women’s ministries and groups on creating healthy communities where women can cultivate relationships where no woman is left behind and where everyone is accountable for unpacking their baggage and soaring above the traumatic experiences that often hinder healthy relationships.

I am also the Executive Director of Eve’s Roses, which is my nonprofit that mentors sexual abuse and assault survivors. I am a minister of the Gospel, a lover of God and His word. I’m also an international motivational speaker and a transformational life coach, and the best-selling author of Secrets Untold, A Daughter’s Cry, and I Told the Storm. I am the co-author of Unapologetically Winning and Through the Valley.

What is your biggest accomplishment?

My favorite and most rewarding accomplishment is being a mother to seven children and a grandmother to seven grandchildren with two more on the way.

Tell us more about your work as an author.

I wrote my book to help women who struggle to recover after experiencing child sexual abuse. I was inspired by the prompting of the Holy Spirit to explain that, no matter what you’ve experienced, forgiveness is not an option but a mandate. If forgiveness isn’t done expeditiously, it can and will contaminate every area of your life and hinder you from operating in your full purpose. Riches and wealth do not heal unforgiveness.

How do you help people achieve their goals?

I help people achieve their goals by coaching them throughout their healing journeys. I provide a safe place for my clients to heal and challenge them to change the perspective of their experience and move from victims to victors. I assist survivors bridge the gap between initial impact and healing. I do this by managing the negative stigmas attached to trauma, which keeps people in a perpetual cycle of brokenness instead of purpose.

What advice do you have for someone who wants to mirror your success?

My advice is to “sustain life” and “do no harm.” This was part of the oath I took when I became a paramedic and is the exact training you need to help people who have experienced sexual or emotional trauma. If you aren’t well-learned in handling this kind of trauma, you will do more harm than good. You cannot be fragmented trying to help those who are fragile or near suicide. If you want to do this work, pray, and ask God to prepare you so that when He sends them to you, you are equipped for the warfare that goes along with the assignment.

How do you define success?

Success is being able to fully operate in my God-given assignment while building generational wealth.

What sense of purpose do you draw from your culture and community?

The sense of purpose that I draw from my culture is to create safe spaces to have healthy dialogues so that families affected by sexual abuse can be restored. The sense of purpose that I draw from my community is to sit at the table to discuss the laws regarding sexual assault and sex trafficking to ensure the community is safe. As the founder of the Not on My Watch initiative, it’s my goal to educate communities on how to protect women and children from predators.

All images by Nvision Studios