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#384094 - 02/02/12 02:59 AM Re: MS News Releases [Re: westchesterguy]
CruxFidelis Offline

Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
Originally Posted By: westchesterguy

this is an organization -- volunteer no less -- of important thought leaders who are also trying to survive (in the real world) while dedicating their time and personal resources as best they can to malesurvivor.

I agree with you that Male Survivor has a wealth of important thought leaders in the field of mental health and victim's advocacy. I don't have details as to what percentage of Male Survivor's staff are survivors, but either way they have chosen this line of work, which is (as Earl re-stated) "preventing, healing, and eliminating all forms of sexual victimization of boys and men through support, treatment, research, education, advocacy, and activism."

Originally Posted By: westchesterguy

it is paramount to stick to a mission when resources are so extremely limited. it isn't personal and i am only suggesting that this could be the case here too without them weigh in.

I'll start out by saying that ALL resources--whether we're talking about money, manpower, interpersonal networks, technology, etc--are ALWAYS limited. Even the Donald Trumps and Warren Buffets of the world still have a finite amount of resources. Becoming a father has taught me that there is never such thing as enough money. I want to give my son everything--the finest education, music lessons, nourishing food, superior health care, exposure to arts, culture and everything the world has to offer. I don't have unlimited money so I have to decide what will be the best use of it. Music lessons? sure. Quality childcare/schools? That goes without saying. Expensive clothes? That's not as important. Every toy in the toy store? That's not a priority.

Everyone under the sun is subject to budget constraints. We invest our funds in the things that really matter to us. I don't know how big Male Survivor's budget is, and it really isn't any of my business but what I think the concerns I (and many other here) have is this sense that we're not a priority to Male Survivor. This isn't a matter of us "taking things personally" but sensing deep within that we, as men assaulted as adults, are not as important as others based on the language used on the site, the type of programming offered at Male Survivor events and retreats, and the issues that Male Survivor comments on in its official communications. I looked over the posted information about the 2012 conference and saw no mention anywhere of male survivors of adult sexual assault. Does it hurt to feel like our unique experiences are ignored? Yes, in fact it DOES.

Originally Posted By: westchesterguy

i've done outreach myself and learned very early on that an organization or campaign cannot possibly exist to, nor, meet the needs of everyone.

Well, of course an organization doesn't meet the needs of everyone. If someone here survived say, thyroid cancer or a brain tumor and they wanted this organization to speak to their experiences as cancer survivors, I'd imagine they'd be referred to one of the many organizations that work with people who are going through, or went through, cancer.

I'm a male and I survived sexual assault. I came here thinking I was the target audience of this organization.

Ask any man around these parts who's looked around for resources that deal specifically with men sexually assaulted as adults, and you'll most likely hear that they've hit a lot of brick walls in their pursuit of recovery from ASA. I understand that a lot of CSA survivors have had their own share of brick walls in their lives and it's awful no matter who it happens to. But there are no organizations out there that are specifically set up to deal with adult sexual assault. Sometimes a PhD will write a book about sexual abuse recovery and write 2 or 3 pages about male ASA. We're always an afterthought--never the target audience. It sends a cruel message that we're not as worthy of healing and hope as other survivors who fit into a specific "box." No one else is stepping up to the plate, and it's interesting how even when I look elsewhere for sexual assault resources, they refer me here. I'm not the only ASA survivor here who has traveled around that same circuit of hope and disappointment.

Let's say you're hungry and you're looking online for a restaurant. You're also a vegetarian. The restaurant's website has a lot of vivid photos of fresh vegetables and it claims to have a wide assortment of vegetarian options. You think to yourself, this seems exactly what I was looking for. But take a glance at the menu and you'll see that all of the dishes either have meat as the main ingredient, or they're cooked in chicken broth or beef stock. You think to yourself, Well, maybe they just forgot to print the vegetarian part of the menu. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and eat there anyway.

You drive to the restaurant and are seated by a friendly waiter, who quickly pours you a drink as you glance at your menu options, hopeful that they must have something you can sink your teeth into. When you ask the waiter what their vegetarian options are, he dismisses your question and says, "Chicken salad."

"But sir," you say, "The main ingredient is chicken!"'

He smirks at you and says "I suppose you could pick the chicken out if you want."

That leaves you with a pile of mayonnaise and celery. You can't survive on that, so you walk out feeling hungry and disgruntled--and justifiably so!

“If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.”

- Saint John of the Cross

#384122 - 02/02/12 04:33 PM Re: MS News Releases [Re: CruxFidelis]
tartugas Offline

Registered: 02/12/07
Posts: 513
Loc: NYC
I want to let everyone who is following this discussion know that the WOC and the board are paying attention to the reactions in this forum. We will be discussing this topic at the next WOC meeting, currently scheduled for next Tuesday, and I will post an additional reply at that time.

That said, I would like to restate a few points that I believe either were not clearly stated or have not been heard in the first response we posted to this topic.

First, I want to personally acknowledge that I hear the concerns of members who are adult survivors. I am sorry if anyone feels that MS does not provide you a place where you can feel welcome. Both survivors of abuse suffered as adults and survivors of childhood abuse share a lot in common and I would hope that we can all find strength and support from one another here. That said, there are certain issues and concerns that some of those abused as adults face which they feel, justifiably, are unique. That is why we have a forum dedicated for members of that section of the survivor community.

I also feel that we have shown a willingness to be open to hearing suggestions for how we can be more open to providing support to specific groups. This is why we took the suggestion for a military survivor's forum very seriously and agreed to set it up last year. However, we feel it is very important to stress that every survivor, no matter what the particular circumstances of their story are, can find support and strength here by actively sharing their stories with one another. We all have a legitimate need to have our story honored, and it is for that reason that we are very hesitant to fracture the community into too many sub groups.

With regards to the press releases, I want to stress again that our efforts in expanding our outreach and attempts to build up a media presence are in their early stages. The Penn State scandal has been a focal point on this topic in ways that few other stories are. Every survivor benefits when attention is drawn to our struggles. There is no question but that there are more stories out there that warrant our attention and sometimes our response. We do post stories that impact the entire survivor community in our Facebook and Twitter feeds, but we simply do not have the resources to draft and issue statements on every story at this time. If you feel very strongly that there is an issue or story that MS should be speaking out on, I encourage you to bring it to our attention by sending a message through the Contact Us tab on the mainpage.

Lastly, this forum was not intended to be a place where open debates about MaleSurvivor's shortcomings would be had. Our hope was that this would be a place to more easily communicate suggestions for improving the website. If you have concerns, doubts, or criticisms, please direct them to a mod, admin, or myself directly through PM. I have no desire to silence anyone's concerns, but there comes a point where venting ceases to bring about productive discussions and meaningful attempts at change. Those of us who donate our time and energies to maintain the website and move the organization forward are always willing to listen to honest concerns and work very hard to ensure that our community is an open, supportive one. However, some of the posts in this thread have begun to call into question the integrity and efforts of those who work very hard to represent all our interests, and the credibility of Male Survivor itself. That is not what this forum is for, and it is not the best way to effect change.

"I am not a mechanism, an assembly of various sections.
And it is not because the mechanism is working wrongly, that I am ill.
I am ill because of wounds to the soul, to the deep emotional self...."
Healing D.H. Lawrence

#384135 - 02/02/12 06:01 PM Re: MS News Releases [Re: earlybird]
Still Offline

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 7011
Loc: FEMA Region 1
learned very early on that an organization or campaign cannot possibly exist to, nor, meet the needs of everyone. it is paramount to stick to a mission when resources are so extremely limited.

What you say is true. But if anyone is to point at "limited resources," they must be prepared to defend or explain the use of what they DO have in their war-chest.

Look at MADD. They took a fully, socially accepted (heck, socially embraced) mode of DWI and excess alcohol use in general and turned it SO taboo that each and every state in the US-50 passed knee-jerk and effective legislation. MADD shamed each state's legislature into action.

MADD: A group of ONE Mom. She networked and grew. MADD spread like the fkg flu! How? Why? Is their cause any more prevalent than CSA? Not a chance in hell!

So how did they do it? Intelligent Leveraging of every ounce of asset. They left NO opportunity without wringing it into a powder for their own growth and spreading the "word."

MS does NOT leverage anything...and one must ask himself "why?"

So, if anyone can refute the above assertion, I'm anxious to see the dance...the improv...the excuses. The power of ONE sucks! I've wringed my own self into powder and am quite tired, spent, and looking behind me...seeing a lot of dropped rifles and a whole-lot of nobody.

Edited by Robbie Brown (02/02/12 06:02 PM)

#384155 - 02/02/12 10:05 PM Re: MS News Releases [Re: Still]
LN3(SS) Offline

Registered: 06/20/08
Posts: 486
Loc: MD
Originally Posted By: tartugas
We do post stories that impact the entire survivor community in our Facebook and Twitter feeds, but we simply do not have the resources to draft and issue statements on every story at this time.
Thank you for sharing that. I checked the Facebook page for MS just now. Out of the latest 40 stories posted to that page only 3 had any connection to ASA. That equates to a relevancy rate for ASA of 7.5%.

Originally Posted By: tartugas
Every survivor benefits when attention is drawn to our struggles.
I disagree. I think every survivor of CSA benefits when attention is lavished upon CSA. The ASA survivors are left lonely in the dark, cold woods.

Originally Posted By: tartugas
If you have concerns, doubts, or criticisms, please direct them to a mod, admin, or myself directly through PM.
I'm confused here.
1) If we are talking about an organizational concern, and not a website concern, why would we approach a mod or admin?
2) If a large group is having the same concern, as is apparently happening in this thread, wouldn't creating a thread that everyone can read make more sense than bombarding an individual with 10 different PM's? Creating the thread also creates organizational accountability to its members. Why would we do away with that?

Originally Posted By: tartugas
We all have a legitimate need to have our story honored, and it is for that reason that we are very hesitant to fracture the community into too many sub groups.
Hasn't this already been done? We now have groups for CSA, ASA, Gay/Bi, Female Abuse, and Military. All the ASA survivors are asking for in this thread is to be treated on an equal footing with the CSA survivors.


"When we go into battle, I will be the first to set foot on the field, and I will be the last to step off, and I will leave no one behind. Dead, or alive, we will all come home together." LTG Hal Moore, Jr., USA (Ret.)

#384193 - 02/03/12 04:04 AM Re: MS News Releases [Re: LN3(SS)]
ModTeam Offline

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 721
Loc: Everywhere

This topic will be discussed at the next WOC meeting. For the time being, this topic will be closed. Please do not carry this topic over to another thread.

WARNING: Private messages sent to this account are checked irregularly due to personnel and time constraints. Please send messages directly to a moderator by going to the main forum list, select the moderator's name (NOT ModTeam), and then click Send a Private Message in the Contact section. Alternatively, or if there is no named moderator, you may send a PM to any moderator.

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