There is power in using our voices to speak up. As I have watched the Survivors’ Healing Journeys one of the reoccurring themes is lost and found voices. Victims of sexual violence often lose their voice. They are silenced by the threats of perpetrators to hurt them or those they love. They are silenced by guilt and shame believing it was their fault. They are silenced by those who do not believe them or admonish them for telling. Many men are silenced by the belief that men can’t be victims, it is really no big deal and/or men don’t ask for help.
These men are using their voices. What was lost is now found in a powerful way. They are speaking out and speaking truth. Their voices begin breaking down the walls of silence and shame surrounding the sexual abuse of boys and men. Their voices open doors for silent men to seek help and share their stories. Their witness challenges cultural taboos around publicly talking about the challenges survivors experience, emotional, physical, relational and spiritual..
These men are using their voices. What was lost is now found..
In his introduction of the group of presenters, Jim Struve, director of MenHealing, says;
Our “Survivors’ Healing Journeys” event series seeks to help end the stigma and devastating impacts of sexual victimization …These presenters range in age from their 20s to their 80s, and come from diverse walks of life, from across the United States. Some of these men were victimized during childhood, some as adolescents or adults; some experienced one incident of victimization, while some had multiple incidents over many years; some had offenders who were male, others female, and some had multiple offenders. For some of them, more than 20 years passed before they first reached out for any support.
What these men have in common is an inspirational story of healing.
While each man’s story is unique, what these men have in common is an inspirational story of healing — with important details – of steps they have taken along the way, and insights they have gained. Their stories tonight will touch your hearts, maybe leave you awestruck, and probably offer you renewed hope about the possibilities of healing…The presenters today have chosen to take a bold step forward to share their stories with you all, with vulnerability and embodied courage.
There are still two more presentations, opportunities to hear all 12 stories and to witness the power of speaking out. Share the information, Men’s Story Project: Survivors’ Healing Journey, with others who might find it helpful; survivors, partners, professionals, allies, family and friends. Together, we empower those who lost their voice to find it and bring great healing to our world.
Be well. Stay safe. Take good care.