1in6 and RAINN Launch Peer SupportGroup to Help Male Survivors

1in6 and RAINN recently co-created a service to allow male survivors to talk with each other and professionals online:

Male survivors of childhood sexual abuse have a new way to find support and community online. 1in6 has partnered with RAINN to launch the Peer SupportGroup (PSG), a new online service for peer-to-peer support among male survivors. This is the second online support service launched by this dynamic partnership, beginning with the Online SupportLine in 2009.

“What started as a dream, where we would be able to provide anonymous, safe, and therapeutically-sound support groups to men in real-time, has become a reality,” said Steve LePore, founder and Executive Director of 1in6.

The first Peer SupportGroup session took place in early October 2015, with positive reviews from both users and moderators. The service functions similar to a group chat, where male survivors of childhood sexual abuse can support other men in their journey of trauma recovery. Men from all over the country can chat back and forth with one another and share their experiences during a 90-minute online session. Each session is moderated by a licensed clinician who provides therapeutically-sound guidance and a “gatekeeper” who has gone through extensive training to ensure the anonymity and safety of every participant.

This an awesome move. Forums like MaleSurvivor provide some instant support with its chat rooms. However, I think having a professional moderating the space makes it a much better experience. It can reduce some of the hesitancy and tension that happens in chats. It is can also prevent any altercations that occasionally occur. I think most important is that it will provide the men with some helpful information from people who treat male survivors.

It appears that 1in6 is handling the day-to-day functions while simply using RAINN’s technology platform. I think that is important because over the years RAINN has done little to assist male survivors on a large scale. The organization often takes a disinterested view of the issues male survivors face unless the topic is in the news. Certainly the information they have on their site and their willingness to track how their partnered rape centers treat male survivors needs improvement.

The Peer SupportGroup sessions will be available to a limited extent:

Men can access the Peer SupportGroup during 90-minute sessions every Tuesday and Wednesday. These sessions are currently limited to 12 users per group to ensure that each participant receives the attention and security they deserve. Visit 1in6.org to learn more.

For those looking for a more continuous service, 1in6 still provides the Online SupportLine. This is a one-on-one chat service for those looking for information and resources. This is available 24 hours a day. For those looking for a support community, I would suggest MaleSurvivor’s forums. They are very supportive, and it can often help to hear from other people who experienced the same thing you did.


5 thoughts on “1in6 and RAINN Launch Peer SupportGroup to Help Male Survivors

  1. I did a little research in the funding and services for men once. Of the 1000 RAINN affiliated “rape crisis centers”, most do not in fact serve men. I have published research that supports that (which is why 1in6 created this service). Look at reports in male survivor forums on experiences calling help lines. The budgets of centers run from $100,000 to $500,000 to multi-million dollars for many. Look at their Form 990 filings. Easy. RAINN told me there are many agencies who are not affiliates because they won’t sign the agreement to not discriminate against men. (Pesky federal funding laws) So these are the “good ones”. There are 57 state and other sexual assault coalitions with average budgets of $1.6 million. There are a number of other broad categories of organizations (state health departments, campus programs, etc.)

    Malesurvivor’s annual budget is about $250,000 last I checked (up from $118,000 in 2009), and 1in6’s was $365,000 in 2010. Check their published 990 forms. They attempt to serve and US national and international community of men.

    The funding and services gender disparity is at the very least 1000 to 1. Perhaps 10,000 to 1. The very name “1 in 6” reflects a consensus estimate for male victimisation rates. This is the state of “equality” in this area.

    If you want to call that “great” that’s your business. I think it’s a completely shameful record and just depressing.

  2. From media: “Peter Pollard, a spokesperson for 1in6 – an organization dedicated to increasing awareness of and support for male victims of sexual assault:

    “Anyone, male or female, who has been sexually assaulted, is, by definition, coming to terms with their sense of vulnerability. For men, the process is complicated by widely accepted norms, which teach boys from a young age that it’s socially unsafe for males to express vulnerability, fear, or sadness. So the very act of seeking help can, for men, initially stir a fear of increasing—rather than decreasing—vulnerability.”

    This is why I can’t support 1in6. This is tone deaf to what 9 out of 10 men experience from current organizations when they DO seek help. Men are quite right to feel “vulnerable” because they will most likely be laughed at, ignored or attacked. And they know it at 1in6.

    Peter repeats feminist thinking which leads nowhere. It doesn’t help men get help, and belies a real interest in helping men. I don’t deny that men, boys act this way, I just don’t demand they completely change first before getting help. Instead, following standard practice for any other group of people, we might “respect their cultural norms” and adjust the approach to work within that. While 1in6 does in part try to do that behind the scenes in their trainings, they publicly support feminist thinking and feminist inaction to actually help. I also don’t deny that speaking the truth would have risks. There’s a fine line here between being effective and collusion to do nothing. I’ve watched them for 5 years now. They are on the 100 year plan to do anything.

  3. This is why I can’t support 1in6. This is tone deaf to what 9 out of 10 men experience from current organizations when they DO seek help. Men are quite right to feel “vulnerable” because they will most likely be laughed at, ignored or attacked. And they know it at 1in6.

    Allan, I think that was Pollard’s point. He simply focused on why male victims do not come forward.

    I agree that it appears that 1in6 attempts to dance when it comes to feminism, however, that makes sense given their partnership with RAINN. 1in6 would likely lose its support if it pointed out how feminists treat male victims. That said, I do not have a problem with this approach as long as behind the scenes they actually address the real issues. I have no problem with anyone picking their battles.

    I do not think 1in6 is being tricked into doing nothing. I do think they are playing the long game, however, I think that is the game one must play. It will take subversion to undo the damage that was done by feminist policies. Let us be patient and let it work.

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