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1in6, Inc. Blog: Finding Inspiration: Stalking the Bogeyman

In my work with 1in6, I’ve heard many men’s stories of trauma and recovery, each one unique.

I’ll admit that when I first listened to David Holthouse’s startling declaration that he’d once planned to commit murder, I was a bit shocked. It would have been difficult then to imagine how his searing story of recovery from a childhood rape could be transformed into a play that would leave me feeling, not just moved, but inspired.

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But inspiration was exactly the feeling I left the theater with after watching “Stalking the Bogeyman,” last week. The remarkable theatrical dramatization of Holthouse’s story, by Marcus Potter, opened Sept 29th in New York City. (1in6 resources to support healing will be offered to all audience members who attend. Representatives from 1in6 will also participate in periodic “talk backs,” TBA)

Holthouse’s story first gained widespread notice after he appeared in a 2011 segment of the National Public Radio show “This American Life.” (He’d previously written about the experience in a column in the newspaper where he worked as a journalist.) In the 20-minute radio piece, Holthouse described his 25-year struggle to maintain the secret of having been raped by the older son of close family friends, when he was just 7 years old.

Chronically shamed by the memory of the abuse, and the desperate fear that the older boy, now an adult, might abuse others, he developed a scheme to kill him. Ironically, as he finalized the details, his parents’ timely discovery of a reference about the rape in one of his old, childhood journals, disrupted his plan for murderous retribution. With his secret known, he finally found the path to healing.

Every time I re-experience Holthouse’s stunning narrative, I’m reminded of the imposed,emotional limitations men operate under. Widespread social norms discourage men from revealing feelings like sadness, and fear and vulnerability, which so often result from childhood sexual abuse.

Undoubtedly, anger, the one emotion men are given permission to express, can be a useful, even possibly a necessary step in the process of reclaiming a positive view of life. But like so many men who have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences in childhood, without outlets for a full range of complex emotions, anger eventually nearly consumed Holthouse.

And that’s just the simple part.

What the aptly titled “Stalking the Bogeyman” also portrays so well is the destructive power of two widely-disseminated misconceptions which were born in an earlier era, and which still frame many people’s understanding of the dynamics of sexual abuse, especially of boys. In fact, they reinforce the very idea of a child’s notion of a “bogeyman.”

For Holthouse, in addition to the shame he felt at having been raped, these misunderstandingsterrorized him further, fueling his sense of despair over more than two decades, to the point of rationalizing the idea of killing the abusive older boy — by then a man in his 40s.

In sharp contrast to the myth that shaped Holthouse’s fears about his own potential to sexually offend, research has shown that in truth, only a small percentage of boys who are sexually abused act out sexually themselves. (Although it’s true that many who commit sexual offenses experienced physical, emotional or sexual abuse or neglect as children, the opposite – that boys with those experiences are likely to repeat them – is not true.)

And similarly, while many adults who sexually offend report that they committed their first offense during adolescence, research has shown that the vast majority of adolescents who sexually abuse another child do not continue to sexually abuse children as adults.

But for a child growing to adulthood, all the while secretly carrying the burden of making sense of his childhood trauma, stalking a bogeyman made great sense. When Holthouse finally orchestrated a meeting with the one who abused him, he discovered something very different.

His new perspective and the freedom from his secret pain gave him the hope to finally seek a healthier, happier life. “Stalking the Bogeyman” exquisitely captures the complex steps in this journey of recovery.

Read more on the 1in6 Blog

Steve LePore
Founder and Executive Director of 1in6

Photo Credit: Bruce Glikas, © Broadway.com

Posted by 1in6, Inc. More information available at www.1in6.org.

The mission of 1in6 is to help men who have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences in childhood live healthier, happier lives. 1in6s mission also includes serving family members, friends and partners by providing information and support resources on the web and in the community.

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Future Crooks, the brainchild of singer-guitarist Mike Rogers, has been a local favorite in the San Diego rock music scene for several years. In 2014, the band started receiving national attention, singing with Bad Timing Records and earning features in Brooklyn Vegan,

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Want to show your support for #NOMORE domestic violence and sexual assault? Check out the NEW NO MORE/ NO MÁS gear in our shop! Wear NO MORE and 100% of proceeds will benefit our wonderful partner organizations working everyday to end #domesticviolence & #sexualassaultSHOP NO MORE!

1in6, Inc. Blog: What’s The Difference?

What Do We Mean by, “Unwanted Sexual Experience?”

A friend asked me recently, “why do you make a distinction between ‘unwanted,’ as opposed to ‘abusive’ sexual experiences in childhood. Aren’t they the same?”

The question came in response to 1in6’s mission, which is to help men who have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences in childhood to live healthier, happier lives.

So often, when we speak of sexual or interpersonal violence, we rightfully focus on the experience of the person who has been hurt – a ‘’victim-centered response.” In my mind, including “unwanted” experiences is the ultimate form of a victim-centered response.

When I was a teenager, I saw my parish priest as a valued mentor to me. It was the late 1960s. Everything—beliefs, values, rules, expectations—was a candidate to be challenged. Most nights, my father and I (in true, adolescent form) argued at the dinner table, dismissing each other’s views out of hand.

In contrast, the priest seemed to respect my intellect and my opinions, gratified my wish to be treated as a competent adult and offered to teach me lessons about the world. Unfortunately, some of those lessons involved sexual interaction with him, something I viewed at the time as an unwelcome addition to an otherwise important relationship.

It’s only been about 40 years since the women’s movement opened our collective eyes to the hidden effects of sexual abuse and domestic violence. Previously, sexual abuse of children was considered a rare circumstance; domestic violence, something to be sorted out at home, within families, behind closed doors.

The effort to change people’s understanding of those abusive acts meant emphasizing the abusive quality of those experiences and the people who perpetrated them. We developed labels like “sex-offender,” “batterer,” “abuser,” and “pedophile” that defined these individuals solely by their “abusive” behavior. Because men commit a majority of reported sexual offenses, those labels are often assumed to be referring to solely to men, though research shows that women and girls also abuse children sexually.

Since I wasn’t ready to apply any of the “abuser” labels to the priest — who I continued to view mostly positively — I struggled for years trying to make sense of my reactions to those “unwanted’’ experiences, which I assumed must have something to do with my own internal flaws. If a therapist had insisted that I’d been “abused,” I’d have likely strengthened my defenses against that knowledge.

Masculine norms that discourage boys and men from acknowledging having been victimized in any way, let alone sexually, has made it even more difficult for one of every six men to disclose that they were abused.  The biological potential of males experiencing a pleasurable physical response, even during a sexually-abusive interaction, increases the confusion.  But “liking” the physical feeling is not the same as “wanting” the manipulation or loss of control that preceded it.

Research shows that men often make initial disclosures (or acknowledgement) about abusive experiences much later in life than women, and that many men who have had experiences which would objectively be considered abusive, won’t define those interactions as abusive.

It took me 20 years before I understood and accepted that what the priest did to me was outside my control. Only then, was I able to consciously begin my healing process.

And this is where the idea of “unwanted” becomes important.

Healing from a past experience can begin when an individual recognizes that the experience had a negative impact on their life, their ability to trust, their sense of vulnerability, their strategies for avoiding or numbing painful feelings, or on their decisions about how to protect themselves when they feel unsafe.  It’s not necessary to prove or convince oneself that the interaction was “abusive” or to label  the other person as an “abuser,” or “sex-offender,” or “perpetrator.” That can get sorted out over time.

As I told my friend, “just accepting that the result of a sexual experience in childhood was “unwanted” is enough to start the process of reclaiming a healthy and happy life.”

And bottom line, we all deserve a healthier and happier life!

Read more on the 1in6 Blog

By Peter Pollard

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Peter Pollard is the Professional Relations & Communications Director for 1in6, Inc. Peter previously worked for 15 years as a state, child-protection social worker and was the Public Education director at Stop It Now! Since 2003, he has served as the Western Massachusetts coordinator for SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) and also does work for a Certified Batterers Intervention Program. See Peter’s portrait in The Bristlecone Project exhibit.

Posted by 1in6, Inc. More information available at www.1in6.org.

The mission of 1in6 is to help men who have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences in childhood live healthier, happier lives. 1in6s mission also includes serving family members, friends and partners by providing information and support resources on the web and in the community.

1in6, Inc. Blog: Strength in Numbers

I’m always inspired when I see a man whose process of healing has enabled him to use the lessons learned from traumatic childhood sexual experiences to create something that lifts up others.

So I was particularly pleased last week to travel to State College, Pennsylvania to mingle with local supporters of the recently formed Peaceful Hearts Foundation, an organization founded by Matthew and Kim Sandusky to support those who experienced childhood sexual abuse.

As explained on the Peaceful Hearts website “Matt and Kim were engaged to be married when….in November of 2011, Matt’s adoptive father, Jerry Sandusky, was arrested for sexually assaulting at least ten young boys. Many months and incredible amounts of soul searching, strength and courage led Matt to contact authorities about the abuse that he had suffered at the hands of his adopted father. The storm that followed would be one that Matt and his family could never have imagined or prepared for.”

In his welcoming comments to a gathering of neighbors, friends, local business people and civic leaders,  Sandusky emphasized the importance of community in supporting those healing from childhood sexual abuse, including himself. The Peaceful Hearts Foundation proposes fostering “an environment where survivors and loved ones can come together to share their experiences and receive compassion, help and support, unconditionally.”

Each time I visit State College I’m struck by theremarkable resilience shown by its residents and by their eagerness to heal from the tragedy that affected them all in some way. Nearly everyone I met – from the customer service rep at the rental car counter, to the shuttle driver, to a local entrepreneur – spoke openly about the challenges they’ve faced and the desire to support one another’s recovery. Safety is what community promises, and as the residents of State College know so well, safety is key to healing.

Peaceful Heart’s goal seems to be to gradually expand that commitment to creating a healing environment well beyond the borders of their borough to incorporate a much wider community in the effort to establish safety. Unfortunately, it appears that that’s still a tall order.

One resident I spoke with recounted an astonishing display of insensitivity from that “wider community” the previous weekend. Some Rutgers University fans, who’d come to State College for a football game, used the experience of the child victims of Jerry Sandusky to mock the Penn State team.

Sadly, in nearly three decades working to better understand the dynamics of child sexual abuse and healing, I’ve seen numerous examples of similar thoughtlessness. Often, individuals are so desperate to convince themselves that they and theirs are invulnerable to such tragedy, they turn on the very people who most need their support in an effort to establish distance. In my time as a child-protective social worker, I repeatedly saw non-offending family members vilified by their neighbors, simply for their association with an abusive relative. That “us” and “them” thinking is the exact opposite of community.

And so I was heartened by the determination of Matt and Kim and the many supporters of Peaceful Hearts who I met at the gathering to counter that kind of destructive impulse with a belief that “every child and survivor of childhood sexual abuse should feel safe, supported, and empowered to thrive.”

By Peter Pollard

Read more on the 1in6 Blog

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Peter Pollard is the Professional Relations & Communications Director for 1in6, Inc. Peter previously worked for 15 years as a state, child-protection social worker and was the Public Education director at Stop It Now! Since 2003, he has served as the Western Massachusetts coordinator for SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) and also does work for a Certified Batterers Intervention Program. See Peter’s portrait in The Bristlecone Project exhibit.

Posted by 1in6, Inc. More information available at www.1in6.org.

The mission of 1in6 is to help men who have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences in childhood live healthier, happier lives. 1in6s mission also includes serving family members, friends and partners by providing information and support resources on the web and in the community.

1in6, Inc. Blog: A Winning Play from the NFL

I was encouraged this week by the National Football League’s appointment of an expert panel to help“lead and shape the NFL’s policies and programs relating to domestic violence and sexual assault.” The move came in response to a series of domestic-violence and abuse incidents involving NFL players Ray Rice, Ray McDonald, Adrian Peterson and Greg Hardy.

Understandably, the focus has been on confronting the visible, egregious actions of those players and the people they hurt. The resulting discussion also provides a unique opportunity to expand our understanding of how the complex, life-long impacts of sexual abuse, assault and interpersonal violence affect both men and women. I was reminded of the reality that many more players on professional teams may be survivors of childhood trauma as well – including sexual and physical abuse and domestic violence.

I applaud the inclusion of NO MORE co-founder Jane Randel to the  panel along with Rita Smith, the former executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence; Lisa Friel, who headed the Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit in the New York County District Attorney’s Office for more than a decade; and Anna Isaacson, the NFL’s new vice president of social responsibility.

As the head of an organization devoted to supporting men who have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences in childhood to live healthier, happier lives, I was particularly encouraged by Randel’s commitment in a letter to NO MORE partners to “be as inclusive as possible and practical throughout this process.” One of the unique strengths of the NO MORE campaign hasbeen its conscious inclusion of men and boys when speaking about those who have experienced the impact of sexual abuse, assault and intimate partner violence.

Obviously, no trauma history justifies abusive or violent behavior. But I am hopeful that other professionals in the field will share my belief that looking at how traumatic experiences might impact adult behaviors is a critical step toward changing cultural normsIndeed, trauma-informed practices and policies have allowed for a historically positive shift in how mental-health professionals, educators, and law enforcement treat and respond to survivors of abuse, with increased effectiveness.

It occurred to me while reading reports about the suspended NFL players over the weekend that, of the 1,700 male players in the NFL, nearly 300 of them will have experienced sexual abusewhen they were boys growing up. The ACE study predicts that nearly 1,100 of them experienced at least one of 10 traumatic experiences in childhood – and that’s in addition to any neighborhood violence, racism, peer violence or losses, or adult traumas they experienced.

Each of them was raised in a culture that discourages males from showing vulnerability, fear or sadness. Each has chosen a profession that asserts his power, his prowess at fulfilling expectations of manhood, and his invulnerability as a man. 

While some men engage in violent and abusive actions, many more men are survivors of sexual, physical and emotional abuse than become perpetrators of violence.

Media coverage of the charges of abusive behavior by the NFL players has raised the profile of the discussion.

If we confront just the dominance and fail to explore the vulnerability of those who act like the suspended NFL players, we risk missing a critical dynamic of sexual and interpersonal violence. We can keep punishing. We can keep voicing disdain and disgust. We can expose those who commit such acts in hopes of discouraging others.  But when we look at Rice’s and the others’ behavior and think, “that makes no sense,” it’s time to start exploring other explanations.

I can’t help but think that to get to the heart of abusive and violent behavior, we need to understand why violence makes sense to the NFL players and to the millions of other men and women who behave abusively toward the very people they love and depend on for their sense of well-being. What past experience, or fear, or trauma, might trigger such an overwhelming reminder of powerlessness, that they opt for violence, when to all outside appearances they are already in control?

And then collectively, we have to develop strategies to help them address their vulnerability in ways that helps them accept accountability for the harm they’ve caused, that heals them and poses no threat to others.

We’re honored to be a part of that effort through our involvement with NO MORE.

Read more on the 1in6 Blog

By Steve LePore

Steve LePore brings over 26 years experience in nonprofit management and consulting to 1in6, which he founded in January 2007. He originally worked in the private sector as Director of Human Resources for Six Flags Corporation and Landmark Entertainment Group. In 1988, Steve co-founded My Friend’s Place, a resource center for homeless and runaway youth in Hollywood, California and became its full-time Executive Director in 1990. In June 1999, he left My Friend’s Place to found the Santa Clarita Valley Youth Project, a community-based outreach program preventing high-risk behavior among students in his own neighborhood. Steve is a Durfee Foundation Stanton Fellow (having researched effective strategies to address difficult social issues and create change through program and policy development) and also served on the board of CALCASA (the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault).

Posted by 1in6, Inc. More information available at www.1in6.org.

The mission of 1in6 is to help men who have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences in childhood live healthier, happier lives. 1in6s mission also includes serving family members, friends and partners by providing information and support resources on the web and in the community.

1in6, Inc. Blog: The Time Traveler

A week ago, I received the most amazing gift. I was offered the chance to travel back in time, by participating in a week-long camp for young boys that have experienced abuse. The camp, sponsored by Sparks of Hope, was their first boys camp.* Ten boys had the opportunity to be unconditionally loved, understood, and had the pleasure of choosing their own activities and food. They were in a safe place and were encouraged and empowered to be themselves.

It’s one thing to look back to re-create our past as survivors in our healing process, it’s entirely different to see a parallel to your own life in real time! We were each matched with one “Little Buddy.” My guy is just starting his path of recovery. He hasn’t spent a lot of time examining broken trust or having been betrayed. He just knows someone he loves hurt him and then he had to go live with strangers and learn to call them mom and dad. And he makes it clear that he still loves his family and misses them.

“Caveman” (his camp name) and all the other boys LOVED being able to play all day long at games, swimming, fishing, obstacle courses, arts and horseback riding and even learning to cook. They only stopped to eat meals and s’mores and then fall into bed.

I saw a ten-year-olds’ thin shell of protection against the hurts and pain inflicted by others. Even the smallest slight brought out instant anger in response, to cover the hurt, which only served to isolate them with their pain. But what was so obvious was the underlying beauty and fragility.

I saw how vulnerable I must have been as a child. “Gosh, I just want to fit in and feel loved.” It drove home the truth that we all know, which is, “It is never the fault of the child.” Not possible. Not in any way, shape or form. This is such an important message. Validate a survivor’s reality. It is what we all need to begin to heal.

Another truth I found was that the sooner you start your recovery, the better. I lived a lifetimecarrying my secret and finding ways to hide from it. These young boys have the opportunity to have what happened to them, strengthen them and to learn to thrive in life as a result of overcoming their trauma. I need to add that I firmly believe this is available to all of us no matter what age we start.

I witnessed first-hand the impact of making a human connection at a point of vulnerability in trauma recovery. That early detection and connection builds bridges instead of walls. Just being there and holding space with their pain was all it took.

It turned out my “Little Buddy” had lost his grandfather last year. The first words he said to me were that I reminded him of his grandfather. A day later he caught himself calling me grandpa by accident. When I chipped a tooth biting a lead weight onto his fishing line, he was instantly concerned that I not do that ever again, because he didn’t want me to get hurt. Yup, that’s right, he didn’t want ME to get hurt.

Two days later, when we were talking about all of my different names, I said, “grandpa,” and he says, “yeah, but only I get to call you that!” How beautiful are those human souls we so rarely get to touch. Well he touched mine and I believe I touched his, and now my life is changed forever. I received more love and blessings in those few days than I ever thought possible.

I want to thank my friend and fellow survivor Lee Ann Mead and Sparks of Hope for making it possible to heal a few of the cracks in our world. Together we make the change.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world: indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Meade

*Sparks of Hope offers two girls camps and now two boys camps a year, one summer and one winter. They hope to begin expanding into states other than Oregon in the near future with the hope of someday being in all 50 states. Start small, dream big!

Read more on the 1in6 Blog

By Randy Ellison

randy-thumbSpeaker, writer and author of the book Boys Don’t Tell: Ending the Silence of Abuse, Randy Ellison is a child-sexual-abuse, victim’s advocate and an activist promoting cultural change working with local, state and national organizations. He addresses abuse prevention and healing for survivors from a survivor’s perspective. Randy is a member of the Oregon Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Task Force. He maintains his own website http://boysdonttell.com.

Posted by 1in6, Inc. More information available at www.1in6.org.

The mission of 1in6 is to help men who have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences in childhood live healthier, happier lives. 1in6s mission also includes serving family members, friends and partners by providing information and support resources on the web and in the community.

1in6, Inc. Blog: It’s Time Colleges Addressed Childhood Sexual Abuse Too:

With the college semester already underway — or fast approaching for universities following the quarter system — survivor groups and campaigns on campus are busy at work promoting consent, bystander intervention, and resource education to incoming freshman and transfers. These first fifteen weeks are critical to advocates, as there are more frequent occurrences of sexual violence during this time – called the “Other Freshman 15.”

Most student advocates and groups focus primarily on sexual assault while in college. It’s an important issue to address, evidenced by the sheer number of individuals who experience some form of sexual coercion during their time on campus. In a survey conducted for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly equal numbers (one in twenty) college-aged women and men reported having experienced sexual violence victimization other than rape in the 12 months prior to taking the survey. Those numbers are startling. But thanks to the incredible work of survivor activists and advocates around the country, there have recently been exceptional changes and improvements on the campus, state, and national level to address this issue, with more work on the way.

However, sexual assault is not confined to the bounds of time at or location of our campuses. It unfortunately starts much earlier than that – in our communities, neighborhoods, and homes. The focus on college sexual violence is an important one, but such a narrow scope fails to provide support and address an even greater number of students, faculty and staff who walk onto our campus having already experienced sexual traumaas children. One in four women and one in six men have had an unwanted or abusive sexual experience in childhood. Many of those who experienced childhood sexual abuse will rarely tell anyone, seek counseling, or begin a conscious healing process – especially men. The numbers alone are concerning, but the socialized stigma and forced silence are added barriers to recovery.

Silence and stigma are not the only effects left behind. These adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse often adopt self-defeating coping mechanisms to guard against the feelings of fear, helplessness, or anger from the aftermath. And many of the coping mechanisms are exacerbated in the new freedoms and social climates of college campuses such as alcohol or drug use, disordered eating, and self-injury. These issues on our campuses intersect, and many who experience childhood sexual abuse are punished (or “sanctioned”) by their universities for problematic behaviors related to the symptoms of their abuse.

The recent college activism and its achievements on our campuses are all at once remarkable and lacking. Even within the frame of college sexual violence, men and gender-nonconforming individuals are left largely unrepresented or unsupported with their own experience of sexual trauma. We must then widen our scope from that of prevention, education, awareness, and advocacy on primarily college sexual violence (of women and men) to include childhood sexual abuse of all genders. We as a nation do not have a “college rape problem.” We have a community sexual violence epidemic. Tackling college sexual assault should only be the first step. Universities are often viewed as leaders and benchmarks for their surrounding communities. They are the first to bring change and help implement those changes to better the cities, states, and country where they reside.

College activists, we must expand our outreach, our scopes, our efforts. With the local, state, and national legislators and media watching us, now is the time to bring long-lasting change on this issue. There are so many ways you can do it: talk with your student newspaper about your group’s new direction, create awareness campaigns through arts activism or photography on childhood sexual abuse, ask campus bands to use a blue string on their guitar to represent the 1in6 statistic, or see how your counseling center recommends addressing this issue and can provide support. With so much that can be done to expand on this issue, you won’t have to start from scratch. There are luckily tools and resources from decades of work from fellow activists and advocates on this issue to build off of.

1in6.org provides extensive information on men who have had and unwanted or abusive sexual experience, from common myths and facts on the issue to a new campus campaign and task force to help students get started. There is so much out there to help you get started. Let’s start this school year right – utilize the fresh energy of the year to expand our focus, support more people who have experienced sexual trauma and promote a campus and community culture of consent and acceptance. There is much to do, so let’s get started.

By Savannah Badalich

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Savannah Badalich is a Non-Profit Administrative Intern at 1in6, Inc and undergraduate student studying Gender Studies at UCLA. Through her position as UCLA Student Wellness Commissioner — the health representative of 28,000 undergraduates -, she created 7,000 in Solidarity: A Campaign Against Sexual Assault, a multi-campus, sexual-assault-prevention campaign that combines education, arts activism, and advocacy work with the help of student governments, campus departments and resources, survivors, and their advocates. The campaign has gotten huge success and has been featured in The Huffington Post, Think Progress, BuzzFeed, and other news outlets, specifically for its photography campaigns such as #AlcoholIsNotConsent. 

Posted by 1in6, Inc. More information available at www.1in6.org.

The mission of 1in6 is to help men who have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences in childhood live healthier, happier lives. 1in6s mission also includes serving family members, friends and partners by providing information and support resources on the web and in the community.

1in6, Inc. Blog: Progress in Pittsburgh: Lessons From NSAC
 

NSAC

It’s been my sense at conferences about sexual assault in the past, that there hasn’t always been a widespread commitment to focus on helping the1 in 6 men that have experienced childhood sexual abuse. My experience last week at the National Sexual Assault Conference (NSAC) in Pittsburgh convinced me there’s been a shift.

I saw a broadened awareness that men are affected by sexual trauma in ways beyond being the ones who commit the acts of sexual violence or being in a position to stop it.  From repeated conversations with providers, I learned that men are knocking on doors for help for all sorts of issues and more and more professionals are seeing them through a trauma– informed lens.

For me, the NSAC is a family reunion of sorts. I am always happy to see colleagues and grateful for the opportunity to make new connections. Having worked many years on the East Coast (now on the West Coast) it is bittersweet to reunite with old friends and mentors. You’re always hoping they are proud of the work you’re doing. It is especially poignant to receive their validation when you’ve decided to focus your efforts on supporting men after having dedicated so many years to the needs of women and children.

I was thrilled to hear that seventy-five professionals pre-registered for our 1in6 workshop “Engaging Men Sexually Abused in Childhood”, co-presented by Peter Pollard, 1in6 Communications and Professional Relations Director and myself. More and more people are interested in how they can best engage men with resources and various support services.

Nearly 100 people packed the room, participated in the activities and asked thoughtful questions on how they can raise awareness and help men heal. If you have ever presented at a conference, you know an audience staying engaged until the very end is a major accomplishment. (Humor and candy prizes help as well.)

Numerous other individuals and organizations present at the conference were also actively engaging in a male-inclusive dialogue. The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), one of the sponsoring organizations, led by example with a presentation by Eric Stiles “Orienting Our Agencies to Working with Male Survivors.”

This year’s keynote presentation by Scenarios USA, included a short film about a young man dealing with the effects of an unwanted sexual experience.  THIS IS A BIG DEAL! The keynote was inclusive of men! It is a big deal because it is a turning point towards inclusivity.

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1in6, Inc. partnered with Scenarios USA for Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2014 as part of the, “I Will End Sexual Violence” (#Iwillesv) and the 1BlueString collaborative campaign. Helping 1in6 reach out to a younger male population.

My colleagues and I were struck by the high number of military representatives requesting information and collaboration on the issue, recognizing that for many of the men and women who experience sexual assault in the military, the trauma may be a repetition of a childhood experience of abuse.

Conferences celebrate accomplishment and promote collaboration. (Sure, we tweet a lot of pictures and take workshop selfies too.)

Program coordinators from around the world are working diligently to create services for survivors and resources for the professionals working with them. We share, we learn and we plan joint efforts to improve our services for men. As we increase in numbers we can celebrate our collective growth and educate others on how they can respond to the existing need.

We look forward to developing more tools and supporting more service providers, educators, and countless other professionals helping men and their loved ones heal.

Thank you for including the 1 in 6 men. See you next year!

- By Martha Marin, Managing Director for 1in6

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Martha is a Colombian native raised in L.A. and South Florida where she received a B.A. in Business Management from the University of North FL. She brings us a unique set of skills acquired from many years of for-profit management and a deep dedication to human rights. As a Program Coordinator for the Women’s Center of Jacksonville and FL Dept. of Health, she taught thousands of students on topics related to the prevention of sexual assault including cyber bullying, LGBTQ/sexual harassment and teen dating violence, as well as human trafficking. Martha is a public speaker, consultant and professional trainer.

Most recently she served as the Chair of the Northeast Florida Human Trafficking Coalition. Her international projects include a large-scale bi-lingual internship for the USAIDScholarships for Education and Economic Development at FL State College at Jacksonville. 

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1in6 Inc., Blog: Gratitude

The 1in6 board meets four times annually, twice telephonically and twice in person in Los Angeles.  The last meeting of the year is historically a two-day meeting in December where among other decisions the annual budget for the upcoming year is approved.  The budget covers all of our program areas and our administrative and overhead costs.  Each year we strive to stay within accepted guidelines where our administrative and overhead costs don’t exceed industry standards for good stewardship of the support that we’ve been entrusted with.

One way we accomplish our goal of good stewardship is through the generous support of pro-bono and low-bono providers.  A key example of the positive impact of pro-bono services is our long-standing partnership with our attorneys at Paul Hastings (San Diego office).

Since our founding in 2007 our attorneys have negotiated everything from the protection of our intellectual property to contractual negotiations with outside providers and so much more.  In fact, last year alone, the value of pro-bono services from our attorneys exceed $60,000. Quite a gift!

This past week, I met with our attorneys for two and a half hours as we are again depending on their expertise and guidance as we embark on another exciting project.  I was reminded as I sat across the table from Todd Schneider and Laura McGurty that their deep care and commitment to 1in6 and the men we serve makes our work possible.  In fact, makes the rich quality of our work possible.

I’ll have more to share about this new and exciting project over the next many months but wanted to extend an offer to everyone reading this blog post that the opportunity to support the work of 1in6 extends far beyond the writing of a check.  While we rely on the generous support of our financial backers we could not do our work without the generous support of all of our pro-bono donors.

That said, if you have a skill or talent that you think might be of benefit to 1in6, I’d love to hear from you.  Not every skill set and talent or gift matches our needs but those that do are welcomed…those that do make our work possible.

In gratitude to our host of pro-bono donors.

Warm regards,

Steve LePore

Founder, Executive Director

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Posted by 1in6, Inc. More information available at www.1in6.org.

The mission of 1in6 is to help men who have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences in childhood live healthier, happier lives. 1in6s mission also includes serving family members, friends and partners by providing information and support resources on the web and in the community.