As we begin the second half of the year, I am keenly aware of the need for, and importance, of our work. Last November as the Penn State story broke, our web traffic increased by over 300% and requests for support (both from individual men and agencies serving men) skyrocketed. Since that time, our web traffic has settled at what we call “a new normal” and we continue to see increased requests for support.
With the cameras and reporters gone from the Sandusky trial courtroom, the issue – our issue – of 1 in 6 men who had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences in childhood runs the risk of fading into the background once again, an unbelievable statistic that few care to accept.
Our work from the very beginning has been to deliver therapeutically sound and thoughtful services to men and those who care about them. Our website is the most complete online resource on the issue today, and almost half of it is now available in Spanish. Our presentations and trainings are being delivered nationwide and our community education and outreach efforts are reaching thousands across the country.
While the delivery of these services remains our first priority, another important facet of our work is the effort to reduce the stigma and increase the dialogue around male childhood sexual abuse. That means continuing the dialogue long after the cameras and reporters have left the courtroom, both on a one-to-one level, and more broadly in our communities.
1in6 recently received an AOL Impact Grant that will directly contribute to this dialogue by bringing our message of ‘Info. Options. Hope.’ to countless numbers of people globally. This media campaign will broadcast literally tens of millions of messages around the world on all AOL platforms, including the ‘The Huffington Post’ and other AOL holdings. This campaign began on June 21st and runs through the first week of July.
In my next letter I’ll be able to share with you the results of this campaign. In the meantime, please consider how you might contribute to this dialogue in your own circle of influence.
Founder, Executive Director