Thank you for your questions. I am acutely aware of the need to continue to stress to the world that the name of our organization is MALE Survivor, not BOY survivor. I am very sorry to hear that you, and a number of other ASA members, continue to feel that the organization does not do enough for ASA survivors. With all due respect, I feel that your characterizations are untrue and unfair.
Without question, more work needs to be done to raise awareness all across the spectrum, and especially with regards to the unacknowledged prevalence of sexual abuse of adult men - most especially in the military, in prisions. MaleSurvivor is working to raise awareness and even during all the Sandusky hype I have gone to great lengths to make statements over and over again that this is a problem that affects ALL males.
I don't know what recent public outcries against male military abuse you are referring to. And this hits on one of the main issues we have. Had I been informed of anything about this, I would have made sure we had a statement issued. I didn't see anything in the papers, in my google news feed, and NO ONE, despite my repeated requests of ASA members to do so, emailed me to tell me about any of these stories. To be told, yet again, that this organization appears to have a willful blindness to ASA issues upsets me deeply. Indeed, hearing your complaint that I didn't do enough after the fact, when all it would have taken to get a response from me was a simple email alerting me to these public outcries strikes me as especially unfair.
I'm going to list a few examples of actions the organization has taken recently to try and bring more support and attention to the ASA community.
* Just this week I posted the following comment to a opinion piece run in the Seattle Times written by a female former Army nurse who was attempting to make the point that the military is turning a blind eye to abuse of women within the ranks.http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.c...p;column=rating
(scroll down the page and look for the comment by Malesurvivor)
I am always on the lookout for opportunities to make comments on stories like this and will continue to speak out whenever I can via online comments, interviews, and op-eds that I submit for publication.
* I am working with Josh Bytendorp to create ASA informed educational material that, like the CSA sheets we created and posted during the Sandusky trial, will be distributed with fundraising kits, made available on our website, and prominently displayed at conferences where we table.
* Speaking of Josh, it should be pointed out that we actually went in search of an ASA survivor who we thought would be a good candidate to be a mod for the ASA forum. This was a break with our regular process for identifying and nominating mods, but we felt that the needs of the ASA community warranted it.
* When we redesign the website (a project that is currently awaiting financial support) I will ensure that we have a section that gives attention to ASA.
* We have ongoing relationships (and I am currently actively pursuing more partnerships) with organizations that work to raise awareness of ASA issues in particularly at risk populations. Among these groups are: Just Detention (an affiliate sponsor for the conference), Service Women's Action Network (also an affiliate sponsor), Walk Against Rape (an organization run by an active member of the military who is dedicated to raising awareness about abuse of men), and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the Actor's Fund and Gay Men's Health Center - all three of which are powerful voices for awareness within the homosexual community and beyond, Safe4Atheletes and Coach for America (both orgs are affiliate sponsors of the conference and focus on addressing the tolerance of abuse within athletics at all levels).
* I am always seeking ASA stories to post on our FB and twitter pages. As I haven mentioned to a number of people, however, they are not as easily found. I have asked multiple times for ASA members to email me any time they see stories that we should comment on and share with others. To date, no one has yet sent me one single article.
* In spite of that, I've actually made sure that we posted a number of articles over the past week about an investigation currently underway about allegations of abuse within the Australian Defence Force.
* I also make sure that our social media does not have a 100% bias towards CSA. Our tweets and Facebook posts strive to be inclusive, and as I just said, I am always looking for stories to share on ASA topics. I also want to point out that on the evening of the the Sandusky verdict being given, June 23, I myself posted on our Facebook wall the following message:
It must also be remembered, amidst all the coverage and attention being paid to child sex abuse survivors, that there are many, many adult men who are victims as well and are just as much in need of support, healing, and justice.
I will continue to repost this comment more often in light of this question. And I will be more than happy to ensure that we post other, similar tweets and posts as well.
I also try to stress as often as I can to reporters that sexual abuse among males is not limited to children. But try as I might, it has not been a theme that anyone has really picked up on, more than likely because of all the CSA focus in the media of late due to Sandusky.
I have said to many ASA members, and I will continue to repeat this over and over again, that MaleSurvivor is an organization that, under my leadership, will not discriminate in favor of any one group of survivors over another. I believe to the very core of my being that the work of healing is something that we all need to support one another in.
I know that there are going to be people who will constantly be dissatisfied with everything that we, as an organization do. No group can be all things to all people. But I take very seriously my duty to try and do just that. I am satisfied that we are working hard to represent the interests of all survivors no matter who abused them when. I get that some people will take issue with some of my choices as Executive Director. But I will not allow anyone to tell me that I or MaleSurvivor is deaf to the needs of the ASA community.
Once again, I will repeat my request that anyone who has information for the organization or for me that you feel would help us do a better job representing the ASA community please share it with me. So far, no one has yet done so.
Lastly, I want to point out that I feel very strongly that division and discord only serve to hamper the work of healing. I want this community to be one that finds ways to work together. I am open to debate, and I am open to being educated about subjects I need to learn more about (and I consider ASA to be one of those). But I will not stand for anyone saying that MaleSurvivor does not represent the entire community.
Daryl, if you - or anyone in the ASA community, wish to engage me further on this topic, I request that you email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.