Following are a variety of questions and concerns you may have about whether attending a Weekend of Recovery or Day of Recovery is right for you. We hope this information will be helpful to you in sorting through your decision about whether to attend an event. We seek to maintain transparency in the resources we provide and we encourage your personal empowerment to secure whatever information is important to your review and considerations.
If you have a question that is not addressed in the following Q & A, please send us an inquiry and we’ll try to help.
Q: Who Qualifies As a Male Survivor?
Q: Who Qualifies As a Male Survivor?
A:WOR and DOR events provide a healing environment for any male survivor who has experienced sexual victimization during childhood, as an adult, or both. Survivors may have experienced a single incident of sexual victimization or multiple incidents over time and perhaps with more than one offender. Some survivors may have been violated by a male offender, some by a female offender, and some by both.
We honor and respect the spectrum of sexual and gender identities; any survivor who currently identifies as male is welcome. Respect for diversity is a foundation for our events. Read more about our approach to diversity. Return to top
Q: What happens at a typical WOR or DOR?
A: Level 1 WORs have a structured agenda that is available for your review at the link provided here. You will be able to check in beginning the morning of the event. No lodging is available at the venue the night before or after the event. The WOR begins with lunch at 12 noon on Friday and ends at 3 p.m. on Sunday. The weekend agenda is comprised of a variety of large group activities, mixed with 4 small group sessions and time for breaks and networking with other participants. Optional activities such as Mindfulness Walks early Saturday and Sunday mornings and a casual outdoor hike on Saturday afternoon are available.
Advanced WORs allow an add-on option for participants to arrive at the event site on Thursday in time for dinner and overnight lodging. Other participants may choose to arrive Friday morning in time for the scheduled start time of 9 a.m. Like a Level 1 WOR, the weekend agenda is comprised of a variety of large group activities, mixed with several small group sessions. Advanced WORs end at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Participants have an add-on option to remain at the event site thru breakfast on Monday morning. Advanced WORs that focus on the theme of “Intimacy and Relationship” allow the additional option for their partner/spouse/significant other to register and attend.
DORs are conducted as a “mini-WOR,” a one-day event providing a structured agenda that highlights brief segments of a typical Level 1 WOR. This includes a variety of large group activities and shorter small group sessions. The exact time for DOR events may vary by location, but typically begin at 9 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. On-site lunch is provided for participants. DOR events provide an opportunity for survivors who are unable to geographically access a Level 1 WOR; who have financial and/or time limitations that prevent them from attending a full weekend event; or who prefer a brief healing experience and/or who may want to check out whether a longer weekend event would be helpful.
Although we encourage active participation in WOR/DOR events, activities are structured to allow you to pace the level of your involvement. Confidentiality and safety are cornerstones for our time together. WOR/DORs are highly effective in lessening feelings of isolation and creating opportunities for engagement and community. We also include generous amounts of break time to provide opportunities for you to develop friendships with other participants. Return to top
Q: What are the age requirements to attend a WOR or DOR?
A: WOR and DOR events are open to any male survivor who is 18 years or older, and who has experienced sexual victimization during childhood, as an adult, or both.
Participants in prior events have ranged from ages 18 thru all tiers of senior years. Each event has a different composition of ages, but diversity of life years provides for a dynamic experience and offers opportunities for mutual learning and support. Return to top
Q: Are the WOR/DOR Staff Qualified to Help Me?
A: The WOR/DOR Facilitator Team is comprised of highly skills clinicians, a mixture of mental health practitioners and somatic body educators. WOR/DOR events do not constitute psychotherapy and serve only as an adjunctive healing resource. However, to maintain the highest level of ethical competency, each Facilitator must maintain active licensure or certification in their respective professional field. Many Facilitators have extensive years of experience working with male survivors and are nationally recognized. A significant number of our Facilitators have worked together with the WOR/DOR program for many years. We believe the diversity of male survivors who attend WOR/DORs should be reflected amongst our Facilitator Team. In addition, we also include females on our Facilitator Team, as we have found this gender diversity is additive to the dynamics of leadership for these healing retreats. Return to top
Q: Will I be safe?
Q: Is the physical location of the venue safe?
Q: I have lots of special food needs for my diet – what will I be able to eat?
The dining staff at each location are highly qualified to accommodate special dietary requests for purposes of food allergies, personal preferences, and religious considerations as long as you let us know your needs in advance. Return to top
Q: I have some limitations with my physical mobility – how can I participate?
We request that you clarify any issues of health or physical mobility during your pre-screening interview so we can work with staff at the venue to accommodate your individual needs. Return to top
Q: Where do we sleep during a WOR?
A: All rooms for sleeping are physically close to the other locations for dining and group meetings. You have the option to register for a single, double, or triple room occupancy. Scholarships are available upon application to provide financial assistance for triple and double room occupancy. Participants who have special medical or physical mobility concerns may also apply for scholarship assistance if a single occupancy room is required to accommodate their needs. Return to top
Q: What do I need to bring with me?
Q: Can I bring a friend or partner/spouse?
In addition, we regularly schedule Advanced WORs that focus on the theme of intimacy and relationships; these events do allow the inclusion of a partner/spouse of any gender identity. Check the Events section of our website to find more information about these Advanced WORs. Return to top
Q: I Worry That My Sexual Victimization Is Not Bad Enough or That it is Too Extreme.
Q: Do I need to be in therapy before I can attend a WOR/DOR?
A: We understand that male survivors have a wide range of access to healing resources. Some survivors have engaged in a variety of opportunities for healing before attending a WOR or DOR. Other survivors have been unable to access any supportive services so attending a WOR or DOR may be their first experience of a healing resource. WOR/DOR retreats provide an adjunctive resource for healing; they do not constitute psychotherapy nor are they a replacement for other mental health services.
Prior engagement with some aspect of healing (e.g., therapy, 12-step activities, support group, on-line networking, etc.) is usually beneficial before attending a WOR/DOR event; however, not a requirement. A pre-event Interview is required of all registrants before official acceptance to attend a WOR or DOR. This interview is conducted by a member of the Facilitator Team and allows an opportunity to evaluate whether the event is appropriate for your needs, timing, and present circumstance. Return to top
Q: I am Concerned That I am Different Than Others; Will I Be Accepted?
A: Respect for diversity is a foundation for our events. We seek to include male survivors of any age (18 and above), racial identity, ethnic heritage, religious or spiritual affiliation, ideological belief, sexual or gender uniqueness, class or economic status, educational level, employment, or physical abilities. If your diversity is not included in this list, we welcome your inquiry to help us evaluate ways to expand our capacity to incorporate your concerns.
We seek to provide individual accommodation to as many special needs requests as possible – e.g., physical mobility, health considerations, dietary requirements, etc. We believe that diversity contributes to a dynamic healing environment and allows opportunities to learn from others who may experience the world differently than yourself. Return to top
Q: What If I am Unable To Afford A WOR or DOR?
A: We seek for WOR/DOR events to be accessible to any male survivor, no matter what his financial resources. To that end, upon application for scholarship assistance, we provide generous financial assistance up to a maximum of 80% of the cost for a triple or double room. Upon application, we can also accommodate requests for participants with special physical needs (mobility or medical health) that may require a single occupancy room. We request that you evaluate your financial ability to pay up to the full cost of the registration fee for your choice of room occupancy. If you have financial need to make it possible for you to attend, then we welcome your application for scholarship assistance.
We also welcome charitable donations that help us to sustain the operation of our organization and to maintain a robust Scholarship Fund. We have many examples of male survivors who needed our financial support to attend a WOR or DOR but later were able to offer a financial gift from themselves or a friend, family member, co-worker, or business entity. Return to top
Q: Even with financial help from a scholarship grant, how can I pay for travel?
A: We are unable to provide financial assistance for travel. We schedule events at venues that are within a 2-hour travel range from a major airport to facilitate easy access. Many of the venues have some form of shuttle or transportation aid. Once you have completed your pre-screening interview and been accepted for the WOR or DOR, you will be provided a link to the MenHealing Transportation Forum. This allows you to network and offer or request local transportation to the event site with others who have registered for the same event. This allows a mechanism for on-the-ground transportation help.
If you need financial help to reach the city nearest to the event location, we encourage you to reach out to friends or family to request their help or to consider an appeal for support from co-workers, your church or another social group to which you belong, etc. Or, you might consider a Go Fund Me or some other innovative platform for a funding appeal. Return to top
Q: Should I tell my story of sexual victimization to other people?
A: Disclosure is a personal decision. We encourage careful consideration of what, when, and with whom to share information about your personal history. We recognize that sometimes survivors have doubts about their recollection of sexual violation(s) that may have been done to them. Various reasons include that traumatic memories are coded differently than other memories and may be more “blurry” and more emotional as well as lacking a sense of time. In addition, survivors generally have a wish for their sexual victimization not to be true, which influences memory. And thirdly, survivors frequently have engaged in pushing these memories away which has the effect of making them less real. Return to top
Q: Will I be required to tell the story of my sexual victimization during a WOR or DOR?
A: We believe that remembering and healing is a process. Participants in a particular WOR/DOR are undoubtedly at different stages. Attending a WOR/DOR can assist you in moving along your path of recovering information about your experience(s), identifying unresolved injuries, offering you tools for recovery, and providing you an opportunity to heal with support from others.
Small groups meet four times during each Level 1 WOR. One of those sessions provides a structured opportunity for you to share briefly about the narrative of your experience. This segment of the agenda occurs mid-way through the weekend, after solid foundations for safety have been established and after you have had ample time to become acquainted with other participants and the Facilitators. You will be empowered with choice about what to share – or not share - within a limited and facilitated block of time and with careful attention to your individual safety needs.
Although you are able to disclose aspects of your history during DORs and Advanced WORs, those events do not include the specific component of a structured process for sharing your narrative. Return to top
Q: What about confidentiality?
A: Confidentiality is a cornerstone of each WOR/DOR. The Facilitator Team is committed to protecting your confidentiality. Safety guidelines that are co-created during each WOR/DOR event have the intended purpose to support your needs for privacy as well as degrees of disclosure. Establishing and honoring boundaries is an essential component of a healthy healing environment, so we will engage you to work together with other members of your WOR/DOR community to manage confidentiality. Return to top
Q: How do I manage my anxieties and fears about attending a WOR/DOR?
A: Perhaps reviewing the preceding questions and answers is providing some degree of reassurance. Consider reviewing the events section of the website to gather more information and the WOR/DORs and check out the testimonials from other male survivors who have attended a WOR/DOR. If you have a Therapist or some other professional care giver, discuss with them whatever concerns will relieve your anxieties and fears. If you specific questions or concerns, send us an inquiry.
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