Person in blue shirt with their face hidden by his hands.

Sharing – Working with Male Survivors: When Reaching Male Survivors, Consider Your Program’s Name

There’s some interesting thoughts overall in the podcast episode at the link, so I’m going to recommend listening to it, but the headline item is what I want to talk about because it’s not just the name, it’s the impression that male survivors have about all resources.

In this case, I think we can all agree that when your center is named “Women’s Center”, the answer as to why male survivors don’t reach out for your services should be fairly obvious. The fact that an outside person had to point it out to them speaks volumes about how we view these things, by the way.

But, it’s not just the name. I know a local resource that does great work for sexual assault victims, and their public information specifically talks about serving “all survivors”, but as of this writing, I’ve still not seen a single post, example, or event that featured anything but female victims.

Here’s what I want you to consider. As a victim of sexual abuse, who identifies as male, I go in assuming that most of the resources available are going to be targeted to women. Because, in many cases, they are only available for women. So, if your organization doesn’t make it clear that you serve everyone, with clear examples, and promotion, many male victims may not ever reach out to you.

Like i said, that local resource that serves “all survivors”? I’m still not really sure if a male victim could get assistance there or not. I plan on reaching out to ask, but a struggling victim might not bother doing that.

Make it clear.

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