Dear Friends and Colleagues,
I want to tell you about someone, and then make a request.
When I was in Australia last year, I met a man named Ken Hampton. Ken is
a 40-year-old Australian Aborigine who lives in the Central Australian town
of Alice Springs. He is a counselor at an Aboriginal social service agency,
an activist for the rights of indigenous people, a survivor, and a member of
the Stolen Generations (for more information about the Stolen Generations,
see the film Rabbit Proof Fence or look at the National Library of
Australiaıs web site, ³Bringing Them Home Oral History Project² - http://www.nla.gov.au/oh/bth/
I spent quite a bit of time with Ken, in workshops, trainings, and
socially with his wife Yvette and their three young sons Yarran, Murrandah
and Amos. We did newspaper and radio interviews together, and he introduced
me to his culture and the problems facing his people. I left Australia
feeling mightily impressed by this man. I believe that he has the potential
to become an important leader of his people. And Iım not the only one who
Ken spoke with me about generations of abuse and violence inflicted upon
his people, and his dedication to improving life for his ³mob² (Aussie slang
for group or people). In a recent e-mail, he wrote, ³Australiaıs Stolen
Generations and adult male survivors of childhood sexual abuse is a bubble
thatıs about to burst!²
Hereıs an excerpt from an e-mail message I received from Ken just before
³Itıs hard to feel joy at this time of year, as a lot of my mob are
coming into town from remote communities for festive drinking bouts. They
turn up here at work telling about the abuse that still continues out bush.
>From babies to 60 year old women (they donıt live past that age) who have
numerous sexually transmitted diseases. I mean babies with gonorrhea! It
makes me so **** angry and sad. Many people are too scared to expose the
abuse happening out there, from fear and threats to their lives.
Being such an ancient culture, we still have people out bush (rarely
venturing into town) who think Owhatever white man does must be ok because
white man is god.ı This way of thinking was instilled in them when
colonisation first occurred. We have non-indigenous bloodsuckers (and some
indigenous ones too) who take car loads of alcohol and child pornography out
to these communities...They even resort to murder if anyone out there
objects or threatens to expose the abuse. The abuse of anyone is sickening,
but every time I hear of (or see) 'blackfella' abusing 'blackfella', I feel
like a part of me has been cut out and ground into the dirt...
I have a lot to do, I know! I just hope Iım up to the challenge with my
limited skill and experience...My people out here are literally dying as a
result of prolonged abuse, and recovery wise, we havenıt even scratched the
After my return to the States, I contacted the Richard Gartner, the
President of MaleSurvivor (formerly NOMSV, the National Organization on Male
Sexual Victimization) and Peter Dimock, chairman of their 2003 Conference. I
suggested that it would be wonderful to bring Ken to Minneapolis in
September for this event. They agreed, and Ken agreed to come.
He will participate in a panel presentation called ³Cultural
Definitions, Meanings, Values, and Customs Associated with Sexual Abuse and
the Impact on Male Survivors². In addition to Ken, panelists will include
survivors from Cuba, Canadaıs First Nations people, and mental health
workers from Nigeria and Bangladesh. Clearly, this will be an extraordinary
Iım sure you can see why I think it is important to bring Ken to the
Conference, and to support his commitment to his people.
Hereıs the problem. The MaleSurvivor organization can pay his expenses
while he is in Minneapolis. However, they havenıt been able to subsidize his
airfare from Australia (a considerable sum) or other travel expenses. Ken
has been trying to get a grant for travel funding through sources in
Australia, but there is no guarantee that it will be forthcoming.
MaleSurvivor has set up a travel fund for Ken, accepting TAX DEDUCTIBLE
contributions. Ideally, I would like Ken to be able to do some additional
traveling in the USA, Canada and Great Britain, meeting with other male
survivors, activists, social service workers, and indigenous groups. This
fund could help to provide that opportunity.
It is always difficult to ask people for money, especially during these
hard economic times. The task is made somewhat easier because Iım not asking
for myself - although I think we all will benefit. Nor am I only asking for
money. Iım also hoping you will offer help and suggestions. If you know of
others who might be interesting in supporting this project - or if you have
fund-raising experience (I donıt) I welcome your help.
If you are willing and able to make a contribution - any amount will help -
send a check (cheque) made out to: MaleSurvivor with a note that it is for
The Ken Hampton Travel Fund. It should be sent to: Trisha Massa, 152 Beacon
Hill Road, Califon, NJ 07830.
If you prefer to pay by credit card (they can only accept VISA, Mastercard
or Discover), send the usual credit card info: name as it appears on the
card, billing address, card number and type, expiration date and the amount
to charge and its purpose: The Ken Hampton Travel Fund.
If you have questions or wish to send your credit card info via e-mail or
fax, here is the necessary information:
Many thanks for any help you can provide.
All the best,
Visit our web site at: http://www.nextstepcounseling.org