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Featured Documentaries

Boys and Men Healing
by Kathy Barbini & Simon Weinberg
A Big Voice Pictures Production, 2010

Boys and Men Healing premiered at the MaleSurvivor 12th International Conference in New York City on March 19, 2010. It was our privilege to also welcome to the conference the three courageous men who were featured in the film, Mark Crawford and David Lisak, both of whom are members of MaleSurvivor, as well as Tony Rogers and film producer Kathy Barbini.

Boys and Men Healing is an excellent education and training resource that is now being distributed throughout the United States, as well as worldwide.

 

Back on Track - Men talking about Childhood Sexual Assault

Back on Track Men talking about Childhood Sexual Assault
by SECASA (South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault)

Back on Track is a unique uplifting short film about the healing journeys of men who have experienced childhood sexual assault. To view a trailer of this documentary, please click on the above graphic.

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Decriminalization of teacher/student sexual activity is not the answer.

Last Friday, the Washington Post ran a controversial opinion piece written by a former attorney named Betsy Karasik. In the piece, Ms. Karasik argued that some incidents of sexual activity should not be considered a criminal act. As a reaction to this column, MaleSurvivor Executive Director Christopher Anderson collaborated with the partners listed below to draft a response that was sent to the Washington Post in hopes that our response would be given equal space.

Today, the Post agreed to run a part of this letter under Chris's name. Below is the full text of the letter along with all the signers.

Please share this full version. It is important that the full message be heard.

We, the undersigned, emphatically disagree with Betsy Karasik that student/teacher sex should be decriminalized. We also express in the strongest measure our disappointment with the Washington Post for giving her a national platform – remarkably, just one day after issuing an editorial strongly rebuking a Montana judge for his unacceptable comments and inappropriately lenient sentencing of a then 49-year-old teacher convicted of raping a 14 year old student.

Sexual activity between teachers and students is a profound ethical violation. The authority placed in teachers, coaches, counselors, or other instructors creates an inescapable responsibility to maintain appropriate behavioral boundaries. When that line is crossed, the power differential between teacher and student creates an abusive betrayal of the trust placed in the teacher by the student and the community. A student's willingness to engage in a sexual liaison with a teacher cannot eradicate this truth. As Dr. Richard Gartner, a pioneer in the treatment of men sexually abused as boys, has written, "Even seemingly consensual situations may turn out to have long term negative effects.... There's no way for an adult to know whether a particular child--even if he seems happy to participate--will be affected negatively by taking part in sex acts. And the very last person we can expect to be objective about the needs and best interests of a child is the adult who sexually desires that child."

The high levels of sexual abuse of children and teens in our society are further evidence for the need for stronger prohibitions, not weaker ones. Decades of research indicate that at least 10%, and perhaps more than 20% of all persons under the age 18 are sexually abused. In addition, overwhelming evidence makes clear that many victims suffer significant long-term emotional harm in these cases. Suggesting that legal sanctions are unwarranted based upon a small sample of self-selected anecdotes is both intellectually irresponsible and a needlessly cruel insult to millions of people who were sexually abused as children.

Criminalizing sexual activity between age-appropriate, truly consenting people is not a good idea. Yet the prevalence of abuse and the significant risk to students' long-term health and well being necessitates that clear legal boundaries be drawn and enforced between teachers and students. Stronger enforcement of professional and legal sanctions against teachers who violate these boundaries is required. Importantly, better enforcement does not imply that draconian punishments are required for all offenders.

A great deal of evidence indicates that decriminalization would lead to more students being sexually exploited, abused and harmed. Decriminalization would wrongly signal to many, including potential abusive teachers and student victims, that teacher/student sexual encounters are not harmful. It would also effectively empower perpetrators of sexual abuse, and make it more difficult for many victims to get support. Ms. Karasik is right to be concerned about the stigma and pressures victims face in the legal system, but decriminalization is not a solution to those problems, and certainly would not provide the support that all victims of sexual exploitation and violence deserve.

Signed,

Christopher M. Anderson
Executive Director
MaleSurvivor 

Lois Beekman
Former Advisory Board Chair,
Darkness to Light

Omar Bell
Vice-President
MaleSurvivor

Julie Brand, M.S
Caper Consulting 

Elissa Brown, Ph.D.
Founder and Executive Director
Child HELP Partnership 
Professor of Psychology
St. John's University

Jim Campbell, PhD
Coordinator, University of Wisconsin-Madison Conference on Child Sexual Abuse 

Roger Canaff, JD
Former Prosecutor, Child Protection Expert

Norris J. Chumley, Ph.D.
Author, Executive Producer, Professor

James T. Clemente
Retired FBI Supervisory Special Agent
Child Sex Crimes Expert Witness

Joanna Colrain, LPC, CGP
Facilitator,
MaleSurvivor Weekends of Recovery

Mark Crawford
NJ Sate Director, SNAP  
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

Michael Deninger, Ph.D.
Secretary,
MaleSurvivor

Andy Dishman; MDiv; LPC
Facilitator;
MaleSurvivor Weekends of Recovery

Vincent J. Felitti, MD
Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program
Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California

Beth Finkelstein
Executive Director,
New York Center for Children

Kenneth Followell 
President, MaleSurvivor

Howard Fradkin, Ph.D.
Co-Chair,
MaleSurvivor Weekends of Recovery

Sandi Forti, Ph.D
Facilitator,
MaleSurvivor Weekends of Recovery

Donna Fox, MSSW, CAPSW
Executive Director,
Canopy Center 

Richard Gartner, Ph.D.
Training and Supervising Analyst, Faculty, and Founding Director of Sexual Abuse Service,  
William Alanson White Institute for Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, and Psychology

Michael W Gillum
Licensed Psychologist
Director, Let Go, Let Peace Come In 
Silent No More Group

Marilyn Grundy
Symposium Coordinator
National Children's Advocacy Center  

Marci A. Hamilton
Verkuil Chair in Public Law
Benjamin N. Cardozo Law School
Yeshiva University

Robert Hoatson, Ph.D.
President,
Road to Recovery, Inc.

James W. Hopper, Ph.D.
Independent Consultant and Clinical Instructor of Psychology
Harvard Medical School

Mic Hunter, Ph.D. LMFT 
Author, Abused Boys: The Neglected Victims Of Sexual Abuse

Todd Kostrub
CEO,
Medlync 

William C. Kellibrew, IV
Trauma Survivor

David O. McCall, Ph.D.
Private Practice, Washington, D.C.

Thomas McMahon, Ph.D.
Yale University School of Medicine

Sandi Capuano Morrison
Executive Director,
Institute on Violence, Abuse, and Trauma at Alliant International University 

The National Center for Victims of Crime 

National Sexual Violence Resource Center 

Chris Newlin, MS LPC
Executive Director,
National Children's Advocacy Center 

Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape 

Matt Paknis 
Board Member,
MaleSurvivor

Scott Pitts
CEO, Scott Pitts Consulting 
Owner, Event Merchandise Group
MaleSurvivor Advisory Board Member

David Pittman
Executive Director,
Together We Heal
Support Group Leader, South FL Area, SNAP

Angela Rose
PAVE: Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment

Mikele Rauch, LMFT 
Facilitator,
MaleSurvivor Weekends of Recovery

Amy Russell
Deputy Director,
Gundersen's National Child Protection Training Center 

Joanna Schroeder
Senior Editor,
The Good Men Project 

Jim Struve, LCSW
Co-Chair,
MaleSurvivor Weekends of Recovery

Murray Schane, M.D.

Charol Shakeshaft, Ph.D 
Professor,
Virginia Commonwealth University

Michael Skinner,
Director,
The Surviving Spirit

Stephanie M. Smith
Southern Regional Director,
Gundersen's National Child Protection Training Center 

Carol Smolenski
Executive Director,
ECPAT-USA 

C.J. Sumner
Board Member,
MaleSurvivor

Basyle J. Tchividjian, J.D.
Executive Director, GRACE 
Associate Professor of Law,
Liberty University School of Law

Viola Vaughan-Eden, PhD, MJ, LCSW
President,
American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children 

Victor Vieth, J.D.
Executive Director,
Gundersen's National Child Protection Training Center 

John L. Walker, Ph.D
Survivor and Board Member,
MaleSurvivor

Debra Warner, Psy.D. 
Forensic Psychologist

Beverly Whipple, Phd, RN, FAAN 
Professor Emerita,
Rutgers University