Survivor Stories
About The Bristlecone Project

“The Bristlecone volunteers welcome you. They are a courageous group who are no longer willing to be silenced by stigma and shame. They’re men who confront the past, but who walk forward into the future.”

—Dr. David Lisak founder of The Bristlecone Project


Bristlecone Pine trees survive and thrive in the harsh conditions of the western Rocky Mountains. Despite thin soils, strong winds, freezing temperatures, and limited water, Bristlecones can live for thousands of years, and are among the oldest living organisms on earth.


If wind were wood it might resemble this
fragility and strength, old bark bleeding amber.
Its living parts grow on away from the dead
as we do in our lesser lives. Endurance,
yes, but also a scarred and twisted beauty
we know the way we know our own carved hearts.

-David Mason

©2013 by David Mason

THE VISION: A mosaic of photographs and words that portray the reality and hope of men who were sexually abused or assaulted.

THE FOCUS: The present, not the past. Who each man is. What defines him. What is the focus of his life. Each man is portrayed through a series of photographs, a brief written narrative, and a video.

THE PURPOSE: To portray this reality — who we are now, living meaningful and dignified lives — to the many men who may feel isolated and stigmatized by what happened to them. And to portray this reality to whole communities through the Bristlecone Project website and public exhibitions, providing positive, hopeful role models of men who have faced their unwanted sexual experiences and who learned to live healthier, happier lives.

Unwanted and abusive sexual experiences affect men across categories defined by race, class, ethnicity, sexual orientation, culture, religion and other characteristics and traits. We are committed to making the Bristlecone Project inclusive of men from a broad range of identities.

If you would like to support the campaign with a tax-deductible donation, you can do so at Thank you.


STEP 1. Come to a decision about whether participating would be right for you. Take your time. Reflect on it. Talk it over. Please feel free to contact Dr. David Lisak with any and all questions at: [email protected]

STEP 2. You and Dr. Lisak will decide, after reflection and discussion, that it’s a good match. At that point, you will be asked to read and sign a “consent and release” form to allow your portrait and other information you provide to be used on the project website and other public exhibitions.

IMPORTANT: Participants can, at any time, choose to withdraw consent and have their portrait and biographical narrative removed from the website.

STEP 3. You and Dr. Lisak will meet in person, at a place you are comfortable, for a biographical interview of approximately one hour, followed by the portrait photography session. In addition to the individual portrait, if everyone is agreeable, photographs of significant others (family, partner, friends) or of you in other venues (work place, etc.) may be taken.

Again, please feel free to contact Dr. Lisak with any and all questions at [email protected].


The Bristlecone Project documentary film is a powerful and effective vehicle for raising awareness about men’s potential to reclaim healthy, meaningful lives after experiencing sexual abuse or assault.

The emotional and informative 30-minute documentary is an inspiring introduction to many of the men featured in the photos; their individual stories of healing; and the narrative of how the Bristlecone Project has grown since its creation in 2013.

The film could be featured as a stand-alone screening, as a starting-point for a community discussion about the issue, or as a teaching aid.

The Bristlecone Project documentary film is available for $49 within the United States and $100 internationally. Each purchase includes a license to use the film for public screenings. Proceeds will be used to sustain and grow the work of 1in6.

If you are located within the United States, use the form below to order the film. If you are located outside of the U.S. and would like to order—or if you have any questions—please email [email protected].




Choose between a DVD or Blu-ray: