MenHealing and Weekends of Recovery
The story of MenHealing began in 1988 when the first documented conference to focus exclusively on issues related to non-offender male survivors of sexual victimization was held in St. Paul, MN. Jim Struve, co-founding Executive Director of MenHealing, was a pioneering co-organizer of this inaugural gathering, in collaboration with Peter Dimock and Ken Singer. This catalyzed a series of annual conferences which resulted in the formation, in 1995, of the National Organization Against Male Sexual Victimization (NOMSV), since known as MaleSurvivor.org
In 2001, professional members of MaleSurvivor, spearheaded by Howard Fradkin and Mikele Rauch, launched a Weekend of Recovery program. The structured protocols for these three-day WOR or one-day (Day of Recovery -DOR) healing retreats created opportunities for male survivors to address the residual impacts of traumatic injuries that result from sexual victimization. Over the years, the Weekends of Recovery program has evolved and sharpened with feedback from participants and the expertise of the Facilitator Team.
By 2016, the continuation of the WOR program under MaleSurvivor was no longer financially viable. At that point, the Facilitator Team had to decide how to move forward in a sustainable way. After considering several possibilities, they chose the option of establishing a new non-profit. In December, 2017, MenHealing was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization to assume responsibility for on-going management of the Weekends of Recovery program and to expand outreach and auxiliary resources.
The goals for MenHealing are:
- to maintain the WOR program and to expand accessibility for underserved populations of male survivors;
- to develop complementary programming that extends beyond WOR and DOR events;
- to diversify the Facilitator Team, Board of Directors, and Staff;
- to construct organizational decision-making, practices, and relationships that are grounded in Core Values of social justice; and
- to achieve long-term sustainability through maximum grassroots engagement and financial support.
MaleSurvivor celebrates its 26th year as it continues to provide support and resources for male survivors of sexual victimization. In 2014, Mikele Rauch and several members of the WOR Facilitator Team conducted an inaugural three-day healing retreat for women survivors; in 2016, TakingBackOurselves was incorporated to continue those retreats. MenHealing maintains collaborative relationships with both MaleSurvivor and TakingBackOurselves.
Some important accomplishments since MenHealing was established
- Maintaining and expanding a dedicated support staff, some of whom have been affiliated with the WOR program for many years, some of whom are WOR Alumni, and all of whom are passionately committed to the goals and values of MenHealing;
- Implementing a Program Evaluation Project in 2019, which evaluates the effectiveness of the WORs/DORs and gathers data on effective and innovative healing methods for male survivors of sexual victimization;
- Creating a dynamic library of videos featuring stories of hope and healing about male survivors;
- Continuing to build a diverse and talented team of facilitators, while maintaining the commitment of facilitators, some of whom have been with the organization for 10 to 20 years;
- Maintaining continuity to provide services throughout the COVID Pandemic, adapting our healing retreats to virtual access and reducing the fees by 85%;
- Establishing an Endowment Fund that has grown 17% in the last 12 months;
- Building a grassroots organization that is committed to social justice and for congruence between action and words
MenHealing publishes an Annual Report. This provides transparency about all matters related to our organizational operations.
MenHealing seeks to remain a dynamic organization, always evolving. We welcome YOU to be part of our story.