Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Dare to Dream of Hope, Healing, and Support
1 out of every 10 men in the US has diabetes, 1 out of every 8 men has heart disease, but 1 out of every 6 men has been sexually abused. Abuse survivors are at higher risk for substance abuse, depression, and suicide. Most survivors live in isolation because they don’t know that they are not alone.
In April, MaleSurvivor celebrated Sexual Assault Awareness Month by holding the most successful awareness events in its history. The Dare To Dream campaign brought hope and healing to hundreds of people whose lives have been touched by the scourge of sexual abuse. Over the course of the month, more than 500 people participated in training sessions, film screenings, and talkbacks. At some events, survivors took the courageous step of speaking publicly, often for the first time, about having been abused.
When the Sandusky scandal broke, MaleSurvivor worked patiently with officials at Penn State to be able to come and provide help to the community. In April these efforts came to fruition at events in Altoona and State College, PA. Students and staff saw the documentary, “Boys and Men Healing” and participated in talkbacks after with therapists and male survivors. In addition, Dr. Howard Fradkin and Jim Struve, LCSW (co-chairs of MaleSurvivor’s Weekends of Recovery) conducted training sessions with members of the Penn State Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) staff. These training sessions, shared via webcast with counselors at all 19 Penn State campuses statewide, highlighted the best therapeutic strategies for working with male survivors of sexual abuse. CAPS director Dr. Dennis Heizmann said “Malesurvivor’s brief visit had an important impact in furthering our efforts to be informed professionals, to heal individuals and our campus at large.” As a result of our efforts, the first support group for male survivors of sexual abuse in the Penn State community was just announced.
In Ohio, more events were held at Toledo, Athens, Cleveland, and Columbus. Film screenings featured talkbacks with producer Simon Weinberg and Dr. Fradkin. Publicity for the events was strong, with feature stories running in a number of papers all across the state, as well as interviews on Ohio NPR station WOUB with Dr. Fradkin, Weinberg, and 4 brave male survivors. Turnout was so great at the events that at one location over 160 people packed the auditorium to capacity and still more people had to be turned away.
“At every venue, male survivors got up and spoke their truth, from a teenager in Athens who spoke of being gang raped and wanting to start a support to a retired gentleman who watched the film, and then asked, ‘okay, now what?’ said Dr. Fradkin. “The range of questions asked spanned every aspect of being a survivor.” Meg O’Brien, President & CEO of the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center said, “These events showed the power of collaboration and what can happen when we join together in support of a common cause. It was such a wonderful privilege to be part of Dare to Dream and to witness so many people getting connected to support and healing.” And one survivor also shared the following, “Dare to Dream events would not be possible without MaleSurvivor. And I could still be dealing with the impact of abuse in isolation without MaleSurvivor.”
More About This Charity
We are committed to preventing, healing, and eliminating all forms of sexual victimization of boys and men through support, treatment, research, education, advocacy, and activism.
- Over 500 Attendees for Dare To Dream events at Penn State and Ohio
- Provide Support for Male Victims of Sexual Abuse