“Men want to tell their stories, they just need the space to tell them“, says Antonio in Big Voice Pictures’ documentary, Boys and Men Healing from childhood sexual abuse. The sexual abuse of boys is an epidemic, and the impact of the trauma of sexual abuse on an individual and society is devastating. As advocacy filmmakers, we saw a need to bring to light the impact of sexual male child sexual abuse, and yet to offer hope for the survivors. Film is a powerful tool to expose what hides in darkness. It is also an inspirational tool for hope and social change. We wanted to break down the barriers of masculinity stereotypes and bust myths about male survivors of child sexual abuse, and do so we needed to bring our film to a wide audience, to create a space for dialog, education and discussion, to allow a space where men could share.
We do this through national community outreach campaigns and working collaboratively with organizations, such as MaleSurvivor and 1in6, inc. and universities including Penn State and many others. We also work with many organizations and crisis centers in communities throughout the world. And it works. Community collaboration makes a difference. We hold a space for men. We have had men from all walks of life come to our screenings and stand up for the first time to say, “This happened to me”. Tall men, short men, soldiers, corporate leaders, prosecutors, policemen, fathers, husbands. Many of these men are now going on to help others after finding the much needed support and healing. We guide them to the resources. When no resources are available in communities, we encourage organizations to offer these much needed resources.
Speaking out can begin the healing process. But men need a space to feel safe to speak out, and they need support after they speak out where they can begin healing. When communities come together to offer space, to offer resources, to listen, to love, to care, we create a safe space, and then we create change one step at a time.
With Sexual Abuse Month coming up in April we have screenings across the Globe due to the collaborative work we are doing with organizations and communities. Working together toward social change.– Kathy Barbini, Producer
By partnering with 1in6, Inc. we now have the film with Spanish subtitles and will be screening the film with a panel discussion at the 2013 Nuestras Voces Conference upcoming conference. We are now bringing the film to the Spanish speaking community.
Peter Pollard of 1in6 writes:
Over the past 40 years, awareness about the prevalence and impact of the sexual abuse of children has undergone a dramatic shift. What was once thought to be a rare occurrence is now known to affect 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 6 boys. Sexual violence prevention and treatment programs, rape crisis centers, medical and criminal justice responses now offer a range of services for women and children who have experienced sexual abuse.
One third of all children who are sexually abused are boys. Over time, these boys experience many of the same feelings of betrayal, shame and confusion as girls who are abused in childhood. Then, as they grow up, they’re faced with socialized expectations about manhood that tells them they are lesser men if they’ve “allowed” themselves to be victimized, or if they were not in control of any sexual encounter, or were involved in a sexual interaction with another man. Bowing to that socialization, men often cover over the feelings of fear, or sadness or powerlessness that can accompany an abuse experience, assuming that real men simply don’t have those feelings.
Without access to those emotional remedies, many men instead adopt unhealthy behaviors and attitudes that are culturally more acceptable for men – things like addictions to work, extreme athletic activities, eating, substances, sex or pornography; or they may engage in dangerous or violent behavior that distances them from those emotions.
A public screening of “Boys and Men Healing,” is a perfect way to start a conversation about healing and recovery for men in your community who have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences in childhood. This emotionally powerful, inspiring and hopeful film intimately portrays three men’s dynamic recoveries from traumatic childhood sexual experiences. The in-depth resources available through the 1in6 website (www.1in6.org or http://1in6.org/espanol/ provide a roadmap for helping men reclaim a healthier and happier life.
April 1-2, 2013
Des Moines, Iowa
Proyección y discusión de la película “Boys and Men Healing”
1in6 and Big Voice Pictures are proud to be a part of the 2013 Nuestras Voces Conference.