Brothers: I finally got mad enough to write to the Premier of Ontario , The Attorney General, the Leader of the Opposition and sundry other mps.
What follows is what I sent.
1) Open letter from The Mens Group, A form letter from myself and my story in a nutshell. PLease dont get bored but consider some action on your own. I am forever indebted to MaleSurvivor for the assistance they have provided me and others
Dear Friends and Colleagues: December, 2002
The Men's Project has worked hard to break the silence of the sexual abuse of boys and men. Our work provides a beacon of hope for male survivors in Ottawa, Cornwall, and Lanark County. At this time, we need your help to ensure that services like ours are funded throughout Ontario.
The Men's Project provides many services to male survivors of sexual and physical abuse: in particular, crisis intervention and our Men & Healing group treatment program. We took on this work because no one else was doing it. Male survivors have often ended up in jail, with addictions, or thought to be crazy because society once thought this never happened to boys. We are committed to ensuring that there is a place in every community where men can gather to heal.
In five years, we have worked hard to make this vision a reality:
- Ontario's only Attorney-General funded men's sexual assault centre
- Services in Ottawa, Cornwall and now Lanark County
- Canada's first program for gay and bisexual male survivors
- Anger management and emotional intelligence services
- Partner to the National Capital Region YMCA-YWCA and other agencies
- Co-founder of the Canadian Association of Male Survivor Services
Despite our many successes, much more needs to be done. While the Ministry of the Attorney General provides limited funding for us, these monies could end by March of 2003. Even more significantly, The Ministry only funds this work in Ottawa and Cornwall – despite the needs of the rest of the province.
You can help the Men's Project remain strong, and make men's survivor services available to all. Please take a few minutes to write/fax/email 3 letters to our Premier, the Minister of the Attorney General, and your MPP. (Their addresses are attached to the back of this page, and a draft letter is also attached for your use).
If we can assist you in any way, please feel free to call. We thank you for your time.
All the best,
Rick Goodwin, MSW Roy Grogan
Executive Director Board President
I am writing to you today to encourage your government to establish and fund sexual abuse treatment centres across Ontario for male survivors of abuse.
We know that approximately one in five boys is sexually abused as children, and countless more are physically abused. Unfortunately, until lately, their needs have not been met. The Ontario government has made a first step in acknowledging this need. The Ministry of the Attorney General has been funding an innovative pilot program for male survivors in Ottawa and Cornwall. This service, The Men's Project, has been funded on a project basis for over three years. I have been told that your Ministry has evaluated this service in June 2002, and that consideration is being given to making this an ongoing service to the people of Ontario.
I urge you to make services like The Men's Project available to male survivors throughout the province. I know that victim's issues and victim services have been an important aspect for this government. I believe that all victims of sexual abuse and assault should be served.
Too many male survivors in Ontario end up in broken relationships, with addictions, in jail, or on social benefits because of the effects of their past abuse. Yet something can be done, and your pilot program in Ottawa may be the answer.
Please ensure that your government continues its vital role in victim services by funding The Men's Project and develop comparable services throughout Ontario.
PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL-EYES ONLY
Wednesday, February 19, 2003
I am a survivor of Sexual Abuse.
Briefly this is my story.
When I was 16 years old I was violently and sexually abused by three older boys at Military College. It went on for a 9-month period. When I was in my 17th year I went to a so-called counselor at the YMCA and was told and I quote “Get over it. You are not the first kid this has happened to and it was probably your fault. These type of guys can generally spot boys like you (whatever that meant). This is exactly what my abusers had told me because my body betrayed my mind. They were giving me what I wanted. This put me on the street for 3 Ĺ years as a male prostitute and a heroin addict. Looking back I realize that that was total insanity but it was a coping mechanism on my part. A part or me wanted someone or something to end it all for me because I could not stand myself. I have also tried suicide or two occasions without success.
I am now 62 years old and did not try to deal with this until 6 years ago. I have been a member of AA for 26years. All my life I have had trouble with authority and relationships. I never told anyone after the first person because of the guilt, shame and self-loathing.
I finally realized that if I did nothing the abuse would probably wind up killing me. I had to actually go looking for help. It took me over 4 months to do this. Many times I was told “Sorry we do not provide that type of service” or “We deal with women's issues”. The ultimate is “ We would like to help but we are busy right now. Come back later”.
I have been married for the pat 36years and have a wonderful daughter.
The information provided indicates the incidence of sexual abuse in males is 1 in 5. That is a staggering statistic. Toronto and the surrounding area probably have a population of about 4 million and if 48% are male that makes abuse survivors number 384,000. Many of us wind up dead of substance abuse, in jail because of our misdirected anger and potentially ruin many other lives because of our difficulty with relationships. When I hear of a male teenage suicide I always wonder about the root cause.
I find it to be absolutely astonishing that a population area of this size can persist in ignoring this issue. The standard answer I guess is that we are men and we are to stand up and take it like a man or why did you wait so long to come forward. Ask your self this. “If I was sexually abused as a child or teenager and my body was aroused by this who would I seek help from or confide in.” Please really think hard about this.
There is one Place that is now operating and it is the Gatehouse at Lakeshore and Kipling. The web address is http://www.thegaterhouse.org.
They are great and have to practically beg for funding. They are a small organization and cannot begin to address the issue for the numbers that are here. There are also small pockets of assistance elsewhere but you really have to look hard to find them. And this should not be necessary.
Why is it people and governments can band together to save the whales or underprivileged children in the rest of the world but cannot or will not deal with this issue. It is their own children who must survive on their own and most of us do a really poor job of surviving.
Another commonly held but incorrect notion is that abusers are generally gay. This is not the case. It is generally from among the so-called normal population that these perpetrators come. Even the Catholic Church hasn't got it right. And they are living in the dark ages. Why are our governments and citizens continuing to live there also?