We’re All in this Together: 1in6 Thursdays on the Joyful Heart Foundation Blog
It should come as no surprise, I suppose, that we who work to create a safe space for men who have experienced sexual abuse and assault feel a great debt of gratitude to the many courageous men who have stepped forward to tell their stories. Each day, by their example, they challenge harmful social norms that tell men that showing vulnerability will be met with shame and sometimes even doubt.
What’s sometimes lost is the power of women who are also willing to challenge those norms by confirming that men who reveal their vulnerability are worthy of respect and a full array of resources to help them recover.
November is traditionally a month of thanksgiving, and as I was reflecting on the year that is quickly coming to an end, I’m reminded again how much the success of 1in6 is a testimonial to the value of close collaboration between all genders committed to helping anyone who has experienced sexual violence to heal.
1in6 being a relative newcomer to the anti-sexual violence field (we’ll be 9 years old in January) we know full well that we come in the long shadow of pioneers, most of whom are women who have worked tirelessly for decades, and most without recognition or honor, for the rights of those who have suffered sexual violence.
What struck me was how our work has very much become part of a movement of ‘we’ instead of ‘us and them’ due in large measure to the warm welcome we have received and continue to receive from those pioneers in the field. Let me give you just a few examples of the warm welcome and strong support we received this year from leaders in the field:
Two of our strongest board members are women, one an anti-sexual violence pioneer with over 30 years in the field and the other, the unrelenting source of strength of one of the world’s greatest sports legends. Both bring such wisdom and vision to 1in6 that we would not be who we are today without them.
Invitations to participate on important committees at the federal level of government (OVW, VERA and others) this year came from strong allies, all of whom are women. Having a voice at the table of such important discussions would not have been possible without them.
The ever important inclusion of men in the NO MORE campaign, including serving on the advisory committee, the awareness posters and soon new PSAs is a direct result of the women who lead that effort and invited 1in6 to be involved.
Grant support, from every single foundation grant we’ve received this year was advanced by program officers or approved by foundation CEOs, all of whom are women. Much of our work has literally been funded this year by women.
I could go on but suffice it to say that while our work is to serve men who may have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences in childhood we’re aware that we’re able to do our work because of all of our supporters, regardless of, no because of the wonderful differences of our genders. We’ve enjoyed great success because all genders, yes all genders, have stepped forwarded and extended a welcome to 1in6 and our mission and for that I say THANKS!
Read more on the Joyful Heart Foundation blog