I'm not sure if this is the right place for this thread, but I cant think of a better place. So mods, feel free to move this if you think it belongs elsewhere.
So I'm a graduate student and a survivor who has just recently (within the past six months) started to deal with my CSA. I've spent some time looking for a support group of/for men in and around my university with little success. So I've gone to the head of our sexual assault prevention center and we've decided to try and establish a group for male survivors. However neither of us know the best way to go about doing this.
The head of our sexual assault center does know several practitioners who she believes will be a good fit for something like this and she is reaching out to them. However, we are at a loss of where to go beyond this. What we do know is that we need to pay attention to the following things:
1) Outreach: how can we publicize the group while keeping it a safe space? How do we make it a safe space for people to come to?
2) Location: I know that walking into the sexual assault office is probably not the most ideal space for people to walk. Would you guys think that a classroom or perhaps meeting room in the student union would be more appropriate for a meeting space?
3) Contact: how can we set up a safe point of access for email contact? Does it need to be protected by HIPPA or something else?
4) We are looking to potentially partner with student organizations as a means to either publicize or develop funding resources. What do you guys think of this?
5) What would a support group like this look like? How would you guys like to see one run? What have your experiences been in a group?
Really, I'm just kinda shooting in the dark with the ideas, asking questions about what would make me feel safe and what would make me want to approach the group.
I'd also like to note that I'm being intentionally vague with regards to the university I attend and the name of the sexual assault program because I would like to be able to join the group on an equal footing as anyone else who joins it. Also, given that we are in the initial planning stages, I don't want to develop any expectations, yet.
For any input or insight that you can offer, either answering the questions I've posed or just by posting your own experiences or insights. Really, anything. I know that I refuse to let the lack of a campus resource stop me from finding the support that I need and, if I have to build that resource, I'll do it. We each diserve the support and of our community and I hope that by building something on a major university campus we can maybe even start to help the conversation and communal dialogue recognize that there are male survivors and we are some pretty amazing people too.
Strength in power is a false victory rooted in vapid grandiosity. Strength in character and integrity is the freedom to act righteously irrespective of the surrounding pressure. True power is the presence of mind to live with character and integrity.