With access to a computer or smart phone and internet, men who have experienced sexual assault can join fellow survivors for support, learn key information to aid in their recovery, and fundamentally, be believed.
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) September 06, 2017
Male survivors of sexual assault are an underserved population in the anti-sexual violence movement, with few resources available that speak to the unique challenges they face, such as ingrained myths about masculinity, and the social stigma and silence around the issue, which results in a lack of awareness. This means that many men repress their trauma and delay recovery, risking exposure to physical health issues, mental health issues, and social dysfunction. 1in6, along with its partners, is working to change that. A dynamic partnership with RAINN has resulted in the creation of free, anonymous, and innovative services that honor the needs of men, including a 24/7 chat-based helpline, and a one-of-a-kind online support group program. This peer-to-peer service launched in October 2015 with two groups for men who were sexually abused in childhood, and now, 1in6 will begin offering a new group for men who have experienced sexual assault in adulthood.
“There are enough barriers that sexual assault survivors face—shame, stigma, blame, and the like—and there are even greater barriers for men, as sexual assault is normally thought of as a crime against only women. Combine all of this with the relative absence of support services for men, and it’s a near impossible place to be. Until now,” said Rick Goodwin, a social worker who facilitates 1in6 support group sessions. “Regardless of where one lives—rural or urban, small town or big city—this new service allows all to benefit. With access to a computer or smart phone and internet, men who have experienced sexual assault can join fellow survivors for support, learn key information to aid in their recovery, and fundamentally, be believed. Utilizing the proven resources of 1in6’s online support groups for men who have experienced childhood trauma, this new service is truly groundbreaking, and will provide support to countless men.”
The free and anonymous support group service functions similar to a chat room. During each 90-minute session, men from all over the world chat back and forth to share their experiences and offer support to other men in their journeys of trauma recovery. Each session is moderated by a licensed clinician who provides therapeutically-sound guidance, and a trained “gatekeeper” who reviews comments to ensure that the conversation remains safe.
“Thanks to the continued support of the Ahmanson Foundation, we’re looking forward to being able to serve a new community through our online support group program: men who have experienced sexual assault in adulthood,” said Steve LePore, founder and Executive Director of 1in6. “This type of service is the first of its kind for men, and we are proud to be serving those who otherwise wouldn’t be, including men limited financially, and men in rural areas with limited access to traditional bricks and mortar services.”
All online services offered by 1in6, including the 24/7 helpline and the online support groups, are operated using RAINN’s secure technology platform. RAINN has partnered with the country's top technology and online security companies to ensure that interactions on these platforms are safe and confidential.
Men can access 1in6’s online support groups every Tuesday and Wednesday (for men who have experienced childhood sexual abuse), and every Thursday (for men who have experienced sexual assault in adulthood). These sessions are currently limited to 12 users per group to ensure that each participant receives the attention and security they deserve. To learn more, visit 1in6.org.
1in6 is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help men who have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences live healthier, happier lives. 1in6 also serves family members, friends, partners, and professionals by providing information and support resources on the web and in the community. In the ten years since it was founded, 1in6 has become a leading voice in the anti-sexual violence movement, and has partnered with organizations and campaigns such as the Joyful Heart Foundation, NO MORE, RAINN, Peace Over Violence, Men & Healing (in Canada), Living Well (in Australia), and Survivors Manchester (in the UK). In 2016, almost 400,000 visitors turned to the 1in6 website for support. For more information, visit 1in6.org.
RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE, online.rainn.org y rainn.org/es) in partnership with more than 1,000 local sexual assault service providers across the country and operates the DoD Safe Helpline for the Department of Defense. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help survivors, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice. RAINN has helped more than 2.5 million people since 1994. For more information, please visit rainn.org.