1in6 Ready for Response to Ground-Breaking Oprah Shows
Estimated 18 Million Men Affected
Cycling Champion Greg LeMond and Broadway and Television Actor Martin Moran Among Supporters
LOS ANGELES – “1in6, Inc.,” a nonprofit organization that offers support and resources for men who have experienced unwanted or abusive sexual experiences in childhood, is well positioned to assist the many men who will seek resources in response to two episodes of The Oprah Winfrey Show that will address this issue on successive Fridays, November 5th and 12th, 2010.
“Although many scientific studies have demonstrated the enormity of this problem, very few resources are available specifically for men who have experienced childhood sexual abuse,” said Dr. David Lisak, Founding Board Member of 1in6. “Common effects include addiction, depression, anxiety and relationship problems, so this is a huge problem for millions of men and our whole society. But it’s received little attention because it’s been such a taboo subject and men have been reluctant to seek information and help. Hopefully Oprah’s ground-breaking shows will help to change that.”
1in6 offers a wealth of information and resources on its website (1in6.org), including an online help-line and lending library. It is the most comprehensive online resource in the world on this issue. But most importantly, 1in6.org offers information and services for men at different stages of seeking information and help, including those who are not yet ready to “break their silence” by calling a hotline, seeking a therapist, or even participating anonymously in a supportive online community.
“Many men who will respond to Oprah’s shows will be only beginning to recognize how unwanted or abusive childhood sexual experiences have affected them,” says 1in6 Founding Board Member Dr. Jim Hopper, who writes the pages of 1in6.org. “Many of those men will not be ready to tell anyone. They need resources to sort it out for themselves. We provide information they can access in complete privacy (no website user tracking), on their own terms. Also, many 1in6.org visitors say that not encountering labels like ‘survivor,’ or pressure to do anything, make it easier for them to keep exploring and learning at their own pace.”
One well-known man is champion cyclist Greg LeMond, three-time winner of the Tour de France and former Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year. LeMond was sexually abused by a family friend at the age of 12.
“I know first-hand how the pain and shame of having been abused as a child can affect one’s life, and I only wish 1in6 had been available when I was coming to terms with this,” said LeMond, who became a member of the 1in6 board after learning of the organization’s mission and work. “In looking back over my own life, I can tell you that no joy has been greater than being with my wife and children without the ‘dark cloud’ of shame and guilt that my childhood abuse caused me.”
Other well-known men sexually abused as children, including Broadway and Television Actor Martin Moran, have also lent their support to 1in6. “The work 1in6 is doing is saving lives and helping people not to spend their lives in shame,” Moran said. “1in6 was born of true care and compassion. In every way its resources and information are offered with sensitivity and intelligence.”
In addition to its comprehensive website, 1in6 has two other major programs. It offers two-day trainings for therapists and other front line workers in cities throughout the country. The trainings provide state-of-the-art knowledge about the effects of childhood sexual abuse in men and science-based information on resources on recovery and treatment. The other 1in6 service is the Community Education and Outreach campaign that will launch in the first quarter of 2011.
In 1998 scientists reviewed the research and published their findings in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association. They concluded that sexual abuse of boys is “common, under-reported, under-recognized, and under-treated.” More than a decade later, it remains unrecognized as significant social and public health issues – by the public, by policy makers, and by the media. People are not aware that just as many men who develop prostate cancer, the most common cancer and the second leading cause of death among men in this country, were sexually abused in childhood. Few know that, while heart disease is the leading cause of death among men, the 18 million men with histories of childhood sexual abuse is more than 4 times the number with heart disease. (For more information about the 1 in 6 statistic, see1in6.org/thestatistic.)
“1in6 has a multi-faceted response to these men’s needs,” Lisak emphasized, “including our website, trainings, and community education and outreach. We applaud Oprah for bringing awareness to these men’s lives and needs, and are honored to continue offering our resources to everyone affected or interested in learning more.”