These simple actions will enrich lives
Resolution 2015: Well-Being
This year, please join us in resolving to help the millions of men around the world who had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences in childhood to live healthier, happier lives. Engaging in any one, or all, of these simple actions will enrich our own lives and communities, as well as theirs.
- Promote Hope. Healing is possible.
- 35 years of experience and research: that’s how long therapists have been helping men sort through their experiences and find the happy and healthy lives they want, and researchers have been studying these issues.
- There are stages of change involved in overcoming problem behaviors (like addictions, isolation, anger and violence) and more generally, in dealing with anything that we wish weren’t part of our lives (like the effects of unwanted sexual experiences in childhood). Understanding these stages means knowing that you can keep moving forward, no matter how hopeless it may feel at times.Many reasons for hope
- Read the Myths and Facts about sexual abuse of boys.
- On a regular basis, tell someone new about the facts. We’ve all been raised with distorted impressions of what it means when a boy experiences childhood sexual abuse and how it is likely to affect his life. Knowing the facts can be a big step in removing the barriers to healing.
- BTW, leading with the facts is more effective in changing people’s beliefs than discounting the myths. Research showsthat every time we repeat a myth – even when we’re dismissing it – the repetition reinforces the misunderstandings that we’ve been told over and over.
- Remind myself about the 1in6 statistic at least one time every week.
- Look around the room at a gathering. Consider that 1 of every 6 men in the room will have had an unwanted sexual experience in childhood. Consider how that experience may have influenced how they present themselves.
- Spread awareness.
- Educate at least one new person (according to a frequency you set) about the prevalence of childhood sexual abuse among boys and men and the heightened risk for negative consequences. Learn about our awareness campaigns,1BlueString and The Bristlecone Project.A portrait of James from The Bristlecone Project
- Educate at least one new person (according to a frequency you set) about the prevalence of childhood sexual abuse among boys and men and the heightened risk for negative consequences. Learn about our awareness campaigns,1BlueString and The Bristlecone Project.
- Promote trauma-informed approaches to working with men
- Remind a different professional or advocate on a regular basis about the value of trauma-informed approaches to working with men in programs for mental health, homelessness, substance abuse, domestic violence, and with men who are court-involved or incarcerated. Men’s responses to childhood victimization are often designed to mask vulnerability. Viewing problematic behaviors through a trauma-informed lens can dramatically change how we respond to men – and how they respond to support.
- Consciously include “men’’ when speaking about “ending violence against women, men and children.”
- Consciously include men in the phrase and be prepared to explain why when questioned. We’ll never reduce violence until boys and men feel safe from violence and abuse too. The ACE study reveals that two-thirds of men had at least one of 10 adverse childhood experience, (including sexual, physical, and emotional abuse or neglect; domestic violence, substance abuse and other issues in their home), which are shown to place them at higher risk for a range of negative health and behavioral consequences. And keep in mind the ACE study doesn’t include trauma from natural events, neighborhood violence, bullying, death of a peer from illness, suicide, accident, or violence or many other traumatic experiences that can affect how a man views the world.
- Support the work of 1in6.
- Because of the generous support of individuals, foundations, and other organizations, 1in6 is able to provide our resources and information to men and those who care about them without charge. See how you can contribute to supporting men who’ve experienced childhood abuse in their healing process.
Happy New Year from the board and staff at 1in6. We wish you a healthy and happy 2015.
Read more on the 1in6 Blog
Feature Photo: br1dotcom/Flickr