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."
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.
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!