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#129535 - 03/10/04 04:44 PM Dealing with Government
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Guys I thought I would post my latest letter to the Premier of Ontario. This is in response to his letter to me of February 18. It is then my intention to get some help from them for MS.

Mr. Dalton McGuinty, Premier
Legislative Building
Queens Park
Toronto Ontario
M7A 1A1


Dear Sir:

Thank you very much for your letter of February 18.

As you said it is a sensitive and serious issue. . The statistics are that 1 in 6 males will become victims of sexual abuse by the age of 21. I have enclosed a copy of my story to help you and others understand the issues that a survivor faces. This is basically a health problem for men, young and old alike. Clearly the solution to this is to extend the Menís Project province wide. I am aware that there are investments being made for the future I a strongly believe this should be one of them.

There are two issues really:

1. The lack of resources to help victims become more than just survivors and
2. The cost of providing that help as opposed to the cost to the judicial system for men that are left untreated.
1.
In Ontario there are pockets of assistance and services provided are not generally uniform in quality.

I am aware that the Ministry of the Attorney General funds the Menís Project on a trial basis. This program has been a godsend for males in the Ottawa and Cornwall area and it is my understanding that there is a third location being opened shortly, again in Eastern Ontario. The Ministry did a review of this pilot that included speaking to survivors and it clearly showed that this program is working and will contribute to a reduction in costs for the judicial system.

I refer to The Gatehouse in My Story. It is located in Toronto and it does an excellent job but is severely under funded and has to constantly be in the survival mode.
2.
There is a staggering statistic that at least 70% of males incarcerated are survivors of sexual abuse. The cost to the judicial system is therefore immense when you consider that over their lifetime these men will be in and out of the courts and jails. When you add the cost of the disruption and damage they do to others in either a family setting or at work the overall cost is huge.

There is another cost that must be considered and that is one of medication. At the age of 63 I am taking 2 drugs that cost $146 monthly. At the age of 65 it will be a further burden to the health care system. As well most survivors, including myself, are or have been substance abusers. Because of this there are often repeated trips to medical facilities. If treated at the outset these costs will be substantially reduced.

The cycle of self-destructive behavior does not stop until a male moves from survivor to a person who is living life and not merely existing in it.

As I stated at the beginning the clear solution to all this and to reduce the overall cost to the Province would be to extend the The Menís Project in Ottawa province wide. The overall cost would be insignificant compared the long time health and criminal costs.

If young men knew that there was a place that will listen and help the lifetime of self- destructive behaviors can be eliminated or greatly reduced. They would not have to carry the guilt and shame for the rest of their lives. It is for this reason that young men do not speak out. In fact the guilt and shame is the perpetrators.

I have been in touch with Rick Goodwin of The Menís Project in Ottawa as well as Lynn McDonald of the Gatehouse and we would be happy to meet with anyone to discuss this issue further.

Male sexual assault, unfortunately, will never be stamped out. However if the issue is no longer one of hiding it in the closet or ignoring it many perpetrators might think twice before they lay this evil upon a young person.

Thank you,


Mike Church

_________________________
Mikey

IT REALLY IS OK TO STUMBLE. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT.

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#129536 - 03/10/04 05:33 PM Re: Dealing with Government
Em Offline
Member

Registered: 01/19/04
Posts: 38
Loc: North East Ohio
Mike,

I want to thank you for your efforts and good work.

Em


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#129537 - 03/10/04 06:04 PM Re: Dealing with Government
jwh Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/18/01
Posts: 98
Loc: dallas, tx
Right on, Mike! You are setting an example for taking action, something very difficult to do when one feels overwhelmed with sexual abuse issues. Keep us posted!

_________________________
"I've been waiting for a guide to come and take me by the hand... Could these sensations make me feel the pleasures of a normal man?"--Ian Curtis, Joy Division

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#129538 - 03/10/04 06:20 PM Re: Dealing with Government
bec Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/02
Posts: 187
Loc: chicagoland area
Bravo Mike!

your effort is a great one. i truly hope you get the desired outcome for the sake of us all. keep up the good work.


bec \:\)


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#129539 - 03/10/04 08:07 PM Re: Dealing with Government
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Guys if you think the letter is appropriate send something like it to your own governments. I am sick and tire of having us treated like something odious.

_________________________
Mikey

IT REALLY IS OK TO STUMBLE. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT.

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#129540 - 03/11/04 02:49 AM Re: Dealing with Government
Leosha Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 3614
Loc: Right here
I congratulate you greatly on your courage, and dedication Mike. I do not feel fully prepared to be as public with my appeals, although I have written letters to various newspapers as I have been traveling for work. But, I still do not have the courage to use my name when I do so. But a friend and I, we have for some years helped fund a charity at home to assist with children who have been abused. Later this year, when I visit home, I am going to help him with attempting to receive better government funding for it, and may be able to share some of my story then.

leosha

_________________________
Avatar photo in memory of my younger brother Makar.

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted."~~~Martin Luther King Jr., 1963

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#129541 - 03/14/04 01:50 AM Re: Dealing with Government
Muldoon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 1428
Loc: St Paul MN
Good job Mike,

_________________________
Teach the Children to Never Hide in the Silence

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#129542 - 03/14/04 05:32 AM Re: Dealing with Government
Texas_Mike Offline
Member

Registered: 01/17/04
Posts: 135
Loc: San Antonio, Texas-The Lone-St...
thanks for what you do, Mikee..you have the guts;

seek first to understand; then to be understood.

_________________________
"Passion, excitement, and confidence are the important medicines that you need every day"

Run 2 Live-Live 2 Run

Best,
"The Desert Runner" Mike

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#129543 - 11/01/04 10:31 PM Re: Dealing with Government
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Here is another letter I wrote in reply to the One I received from the Attorney General
Dear Mr. Laskin.

I see by the reply to my correspondence from The Honorable Michael Bryant Attorney General that the file has been referred to you, presumably to deal with the issues I have raised and enclose I copies of all correspondence for your files.

I notice that the OVSS is currently developing a provincial sexual assault strategy and that this strategy will be developed in the context of your secretariatís funding responsibilities. I am not quite sure what that means and would appreciate some clarification. I have noticed in recent press releases that there seems to be considerable funding for female survivors but the absence of any press releases for men is conspicuous by the absence of any.

I fully realize that victimsí services cover all issues related to criminal activity and I fully support that. There is considerable support for female victims of sexual assault but it seems to me that the prevailing notion still holds that men cannot be victims of sexual assault. While it is estimated that this type of crime happens to 1 in 3 women by the time they reach 21 it must be remembered that it also happens to from 1-6 or 8 depending on the source of information available to men by the time they reach 21. If we use the higher figure that means out of a total Ontario Population of some 10,800,00 in the 1996 census there are 675,000 men who are victims of sexual abuse/assault. This is a staggering figure. I suspect that all other crimes that victimize men come to much less than 10% of this. And yet there still seems to be little activity in this area.

I have said elsewhere in my correspondence that males who are victimized this way take only three paths. The first is suicide and that certainly keeps them quiet. Then there are others who withdraw from society as a whole and that is a tremendous waste to the Province by reason of their non-contributing nature. The third was is to attack society and this is by far the most costly of the three from a dollar perspective. They do it at ever level through violence, broken lives and marriages, mental breakdowns, substance abuse, disruption in the workforce and general mayhem. It is easy to see the cost because, to a large extent, these men spend most of their lives in the criminal justice system. I am sure the cost is absolutely astounding in total dollars. It seems to me that it would be a whole lot more cost effective to provide assistance to the person shortly after this crime is committed or to make awareness of it to children and to encourage them to speak out. Engage young males in a general way in the education system to make them fully aware of this potential crime and to make the resources available to help them at any age and to encourage them to speak out early. It is so terribly important to let them know that they are not to blame and that there should be no shame or guilt on their part. Having said that I have to ask you a direct question. If you were sexually assaulted as a teenager or child and your body betrayed your mind, WHO WOULD YOU TELL? And therein lies the problem. When you read about the Mount Cashels of the World and about the Catholic Church and other institutions you have to realize that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Over 85% of this sort of crime occurs in and around the home. Do the math sir.

And yet there is little evidence that any concrete action is even proposed.

Earlier I made reference to the initiative of your department regarding a sexual assault strategy and I would very much like to know if any consultations with victims are contemplated. In as much as it will affect them I think this would be a priority. I am the Co-Chair of the recently formed Ontario Association of Male Survivor Services (OAMSS). We would very much like to be a part of this consultation in as much as it is a priority to us. To better rephrase that: It is a priority for those still suffering abuse, who will shortly be abused and those that have yet to deal with this issue. We are merely their voice.

Thank you,


Mike Church

_________________________
Mikey

IT REALLY IS OK TO STUMBLE. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT.

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#129544 - 11/02/04 12:01 AM Re: Dealing with Government
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
Mike, you give me and others so much courage to relate to our cause, we have to kick, we have for so long wailed in the shadows.

Mocked by society, "our own fault", comes to my mind, when there is ever an accusation of child sex abuse!

If it was our fault, then why? Would we be crying out in vain? None of us asked to be abused, we should never blame ourselves for the guiit bestowed on us.

One victim is too many, but the math says that there is far too many kids abused by society. Some will never become known, as the kids turn to crime or other anti-social behaviour. Even worse, become an abuser themselves!

Or choose the EXIT!!!

Not me, nor you, or anyone else in this forum. We bear the scars for life, but no-one cares!

It's about time they did though,

I am being very pro-active on this issue,

ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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