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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

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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.

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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!

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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
 

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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.

1in6 Inc., Blog: Employee Wellness for the 1 in 6 Men

While I was in business school, we frequently discussed the correlation between employee productivity and employee wellness. We were taught that a company could see an increase in work place morale, and subsequently profit, when they encouraged employee health and safety. In my experience, my physical and emotional health positively affected my productivity.  Are trauma-informed management practices profitable for companies?

The staple examples of an increase in wellness programs were that of Google and Bank of America. These companies found an incentive for providing on-campus daycare, obesity prevention and smoking cessation programs, gymnasiums and other healthy resources.

It made sense to me that employees would experience less anxiety knowing their children were safe, easily accessible and that parents were avoiding the increasing financial burden of childcare. And that this would result in an increase in task focus/output. Furthermore, a work culture that enforces anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies (including religion, sexual orientation, transgender, race, ethnicity, and ability, to name a few) sends the message that employees are valued and safe.

But what if you don’t feel safe, either from interpersonal (domestic) violence or intrusive, vivid memories of childhood sexual abuse? How does trauma affect your performance at work?

Men who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse may develop self-defeating coping strategies, including addiction to substance dependency, pornography, risky sexual behavior and adrenaline sports. Even extremely-high career performance can be used as a coping mechanism, which can lead to burn out and high employee turnover rates. Some who have experienced abuse can exhibit anger, poor boundary-setting skills, insecurity, depression and are at a higher risk of suicide.

Abuse-reactive behaviors to power dynamics in the work place are a very interesting and less discussed effect of trauma. How do survivors react to people with power over them or if they feel threatened by them?

Our first thought maybe is to assume aggressive behavior, but what about the employee that does not reach their potential because they are too afraid to act? That billion-dollar idea may never make it to marketing. You could just hire someone new. But if we stop to consider that 1 in 6 men are survivors of an unwanted or abusive sexual experience before the age of 18, we may have to clear our schedules for a lot of interviews.

After business school, I put into practice many of the leadership theories suggested. I strived to identify performance incentive and positive reward strategy. I found that many of us professionals in the victim-services fields are ourselves survivors, and although extremely dedicated, it was important to find a healthy balance between advocacy and self-care. I knew first-hand the positive impact of employee wellness, the benefit of trauma-informed policies, administration and referral to resources; both in the for-profit and non-profit fields.

If the logic is that healthy input increases quality product output, and thus an increase in profit, why not address the drivers to negative variable in the lives of our staff? Is it because abuse is a deeply personal and an extremely stigmatized issue? Taboo? Liability? Or is it simply lack of awareness?

A strategy to increasing awareness is to meet men where they are… where they work, worship, live and play. We can use language that validates an unwanted experience without forcing the survivor to identify as a victim or abused person. We can be careful not to use words that in our society imply weakness and may lead to recrimination from peers and isolation. Stigma and shame can be strong deterrents to seeking help and healing.

I’m not suggesting we should start providing victim services at work (let the experts handle that). Yet, trauma-informed management practices have been very helpful in identifying the effects of childhood sexual abuse, coping strategies and how it can all affect our workplace environment. Whether we choose to see it as profitable, smart management or a moral obligation, employee wellness isn’t just a fad. It is a practice that we cannot afford to ignore.

A confident, healthy, successful life is attainable. Healing is not an easy road for many, but it is bearable if surrounded by validation, patience and encouragement. Awareness and inclusivity can be just enough to communicate these sentiments for our staff. One brochure or flyer with thoughtful language, a hopeful message or on-line resources can make all the difference to a man and his loved ones… and their productivity.

A quick thank you to the 1in6 staff and Joyful Heart Foundation colleagues that remind me everyday to engage in the same self-care practices we encourage for all survivors engaged in the work to heal others.

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- 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. 

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.

Check out @NewCollegeofFL Thank you for including the #1in6menoncampus in your new #SHARE resource center services @PCARorg

Check out @NewCollegeofFL Thank you for including the #1in6menoncampus in your new #SHARE resource center services @PCARorg

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Self-care is an inner revolution!

1in6 Inc., Blog: Including Men In Campus Outreach

Over the course of the past year, I’ve had the pleasure of running “7000 in Solidarity: A Campaign Against Sexual Assault” at UCLA. The campaign is a threefold effort: awareness, education, and advocacy through a coalition of student groups of a variety of topics and communities working together to combat sexual violence. From the beginning and within the campaign’s name, I have purposely worked for the campaign to be gender inclusive, including the statistic of the number of men who have had an unwanted or abusive sexual experience in childhood – 1 in 6.

According to peer-reviewed academic journals, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men will experience a sexual assault or some form of sexual violence over the course of their lifetime. Meaning of the 28,000 undergraduates of UCLA, 7,000 Bruins will be survivors – and most of them before the age of 18. (And, this number does not even begin to account for the number of those who do not identify as either gender and experience sexual violence.) While the focus on universities’ inadequate response to sexual assaults during a student’s time on campus is an important one, most survivors on campus were survivors before they even stepped foot on our quads. Their need for support is just as important as the women and men who will experience assault once on campus.

And, while being a survivor of any gender is a stigmatizing and silencing experience, male survivors of an unwanted or abusive sexual experience in childhood are by far the most difficult to engage and support as a campus survivor activist and campaign. Of the over three hundred survivors who have broken their silence to me through e-mail, phone calls, impromptu campus meetings, and other ways, only a handful have been men. At our on-campus events, men rarely attend unless they are fraternities men incentivized through our Fraternity & Sorority Relations, or a small number of dedicated men who are allies to the cause.

I’ve asked many male survivors who’ve spoken with me why they don’t attend our events – which include lectures, art galleries, workshops, etc. – and how we can do better to attract men. One man gave me a straightforward response: “If I attend, I feel like I would out myself as a victim. Whether I say it explicitly or not, my presence could implicitly say ‘I’m a victim,’ and that’s my greatest fear – someone to know without me wanting them to. And, I don’t think I’ll feel comfortable to come or talk until the silence around this wanes. I don’t know when that will be, but in the mean time, I’ll be quiet.”

We cannot make strides to end violence against women if we do not adequately address violence against men. At least 1 in 6 men on our campuses are survivors, and where can we go from here, if the same events I know my fellow survivor activists and I have designed to be a support for survivors of all genders, aren’t a safe space for male survivors?

We have to make it one. We need to break the silence and break it in unconventional and interesting ways, using techniques to reach communities that are generally not interested in this topic. I have one year left at UCLA, one year of activism ahead of me, and another shot to help the male survivors who I could not support the first year of my efforts. We can’t have a full conversation and work to end sexual violence against any gender if we do not explicitly and specifically work to break the social stigma and silence around male sexual violence. I hope through ideas like a 1BlueString campaign in partnership with our campus radio station, connecting with male-dominated campus spaces to put on events debunking myths about male sexual violence, or putting on art and entertainment-related events, like a spoken—word event about silence and male sexual violence, we can start to create a campus culture that supports male survivors.

Sexual violence is not just a woman’s issues; it’s a community problem, and it’s about time campus communities takes a lead to support our men affected by the issue in hopes of bettering our society as a whole.

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 multicampus 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.