Reflections on recent screenings

We have been recovering from a long-winded editing process, but grateful for all the support we received to finish the film. We finished the film 5 days before the International MaleSurvivor conference, editing sometimes until wee hours in the morning for many weeks. So now looking forward to baking bread and planting my garden, too!

The premiere screening of Boys and Men Healing at the MaleSurvivor Conference in New York City in March, where we received a heartwarming and inspirational response to Boys and Men Healing, was truly wonderful! I met so many amazing men out on the front lines for this cause, who are not only leaders but also incredible individuals who are shining examples of the hope that comes from the arduous path of healing. New York City was 70 degrees..just beautiful and alive, thriving with Spring Fever at it’s best! The entire weekend was memorable and gives me so much hope for all who are in a healing process, and for our outreach efforts to raise awareness with this film.

The week I returned (very weary, yet happily overwhelmed), we were invited to screen clips of our film in Washington, DC at the United State Justice Department for VAWA’s Sexual Assault awareness month where leaders from related fields of prevention gathered. We have been invited to screen the film at 2 more important mental health and prevention conferences, so our outreach is beginning. Mark Crawford, one of the men profiled in the film, and a great activist for the cause, attended the event in Washington, DC.

Here are some of Mark Crawford’s reflections on the event:

As April is “Sexual Assault Awareness Month” we are challenged to fight this crime by raising awareness and learning more about it. This event was an effort to shed light on the scope, impact and nature of sexual violence. It is an effort to honor survivors and advocates working to end sexual violence and an attempt to initiate a call to action for individuals and communities to actively take a stand against sexual violence.

Welcoming remarks were made by Associate Attorney General, Tom Perelli, Attorney General Eric Holder and the newly appointed Director, Office of Violence Against Women, Judge Susan B Carbon.

The Attorney General reiterated the administrations commitment to the cause of eliminating sexual violence, but he also spoke about the fact that services must be extended to not just women, but boys and men as well. It was time to raise awareness that boys and men are also victims of Sexual Assault. So first on the agenda was the viewing of a 12 minute clip from, “Boys and Men Healing”, produced by Kathy Barbini of Big Voice Pictures, after which Director of OVAW, Judge Carbon spoke. She gave credit to the amazing men portrayed in the film and their important and courageous efforts to educate about and advocate for boys and men. A film that was long overdue and very much needed. She then introduced me to all those attending the event in the Great Hall.

Afterwards, I had an opportunity to meet men and woman from all over the country who work in the many agencies and non-profits which address the issue of sexual violence. They were thrilled with the film and were eager to watch it in its entirety. I spoke with Judge Carbon who expressed an interest in keeping in touch and reaching out to me in the future as they move forward in an effort to bring resources to bare for boys and men who have been victims of sexual assault. Also joining us as a guest was White House Staffer, Lynn Rosenthall who, I am told reports directly to the Vice President on these issues.

We’ll look forward to keeping you posted on all that’s ahead!

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